Give Now

Half Of Indiana Counties Don’t Have Health Care Navigator

A volunteer at the Monroe County Public Library helps guide a Bloomington resident through signing up for health insurance on the federal government website.

Many of Indiana’s counties are lacking a certified navigator, the people responsible for guiding Hoosiers through enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces.

Affordable Care Act navigators are trained by the federal government to guide consumers through the insurance application process in the newly-created health care marketplaces.

Indiana law requires the state to license these navigators. That includes running background checks on them and providing them extra training. More than half of Indiana’s 92 counties are without a navigator, and 18 of them only have one.

Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, says one example of the shortage is the county he represents, Floyd County.

“The 21st most populous county in the state has no navigator and in the adjacent counties – Clark to the east and Harrison to the west – there’s only one each,” he says.

State Department of Insurance Deputy Commissioner Logan Harrison notes the number of Indiana navigators has more than doubled in the last month, but he says recruitment is the federal government’s responsibility.

“It was their vision and one of their chief marketing and grassroots efforts to get people signed up,” he says. “We do not have the resources and cannot require citizens to come and join this new, so-called profession.”

Harrison says Hoosiers in underserved areas can go to traditional insurance agents and brokers, who should be able to help guide them through the application process.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From