Navigators: A Background Paper
August 11, 2011
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires states to either establish and operate a Health Insurance Exchange by 2014 or participate in the federal Exchange. On April 12, 2011, Governor O’Malley signed the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2011, which established Maryland’s Exchange as an independent unit of the state government. The Act also established a Board of Trustees to oversee the Exchange. The Hilltop Institute was commissioned to develop a series of background papers in order to assist the Board in planning for the implementation of Maryland’s Exchange.
This background paper provides information on Navigator programs that, as defined by the ACA, provide public education and awareness about, distribute fair and impartial information about, and facilitate enrollment in qualified health plans. The background paper is also intended to provide foundational support for a formal study conducted on the design and operation of the Exchange’s Navigator Program and other appropriate consumer assistance mechanisms.