Yes, I am a navigator. I have two certifications: one as a Certified Applications Counselor (CAC) and one as a Certified Marketplace Navigator. I am employed by SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, a federally qualified health clinic. I am paid, however, with federal government money, awarded to SouthEast through a grant which the organization applied for. My official title with SouthEast is Outreach and Enrollment Specialist. My title does a good job of explaining my duties. My first primary duty is educating the many communities of Lancaster County. This is a daunting task given the population of Lancaster County (500,000) and the amount of currently uninsured people in the county (>60,000). In order to tackle this overwhelming assignment, I, along with the other navigators in the area, divided the county. I was given the school districts of Lampeter-Strasburg, Penn Manor, and Solanco. All of the navigators are also focusing on the greatest concentration of people, Lancaster city.
My second primary duty is helping the people of Lancaster County enroll in health insurance. To do this I schedule one-on-one appointments with people to talk about health insurance, answer questions about the new system, help people apply for health insurance, and enroll in a health insurance plan. I schedule appointments at my office, the three health clinic offices, and a number of libraries around the county in order to accommodate the many communities in the area.
Before truly starting the job at hand I had to go through many hours of Navigator and CAC training. The training provided information on health insurance basics, privacy requirements, customer services, and, of course, the new health insurance marketplace. The training was helpful but no amount of it could have prepared me for what was to come.
More blog posts to come…