Ever heard of the Navigator program? It was put in place to help potential enrollees figure out their healthcare coverage options in the Affordable Care Act marketplace and to assist in the enrollment process. The White House has decided to cut the Navigator’s program funding by 41 percent this year, but Indiana received the largest funding cuts of any other state, according to IndyStar. The federal government slashed the Hoosier State’s program funding by 82 percent. Louisiana and Nebraska followed closely behind, receiving cuts of 80 percent.
To put that into perspective, the government gave Indiana $1.6 million to aid Hoosier enrollees last year. This year, Indiana will be given a mere $296,704 to help out applicants, according to an op-ed in the Post-Tribune. It’s unclear why Indiana was the hardest hit by the government’s slashing of funds.
The ACA marketplace enrollment period just opened on November 1 and will continue through December 15. Without the money to hire workers to assist applicants, many predict this will leave many Hoosiers with misinformation and misunderstanding—which could mean that a greater amount will choose to be uninsured.
Already, Indiana small business owners are struggling to figure out their healthcare options, since there aren’t small group plans on the marketplace for 2018, according to RTV6. Many small business owners will have to pay the individual rate, which is the highest, in order to provide their employees with the benefit of healthcare.