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Navigator

Kansas Cares Certified Navigator

Barber County United offers Navigator services through a partnership with Thrive Allen County (Thrive). Walinda Arnett, Barber County United’s Website Coordinator and Kansas Cares Navigator, provides enrollment assistance services to Barber County and Kansas residents for the Marketplace and other health and safety net services in its Thrive CARES program. BCU brings Navigator services to underserved communities as one of ten agencies contracted through the KANSAS CARES program. Thrive is the largest and most prominent rural health advocacy organization in Kansas.

Kansas Cares Certified Navigators:

  • Specially trained Community Health Worker in Kansas.

  • There is no fee for Navigator services.

  • Open enrollment is from November 1-January 15 each year.

  • Special enrollment periods can allow for year-round enrollments.

  • Offer trained, unbiased assistance to compare health insurance plans.

  • Assisting consumers with the online application process.

  • Answers to any individual’s Marketplace questions year-round.

  • Navigators do not sell insurance.

WHY USE A NAVIGATOR?

NAVIGATORS CAN HELP FIND THE ANSWERS TO YOUR ENROLLMENT AND APPLICATION QUESTIONS

Applying for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace can be confusing and time-consuming. Kansas Cares Certified Navigators are specially trained Community Health Workers in Kansas who can help you choose the best and most affordable plan.

BENEFITS OF USING A NAVIGATOR

  • This service is completely free

  • The process is simple—a normal appointment lasts about an hour

  • Navigators aren’t trying to sell you anything—their job is to help you find the insurance plan most suited to you

  • Navigators work with your schedule—appointments can be held over the phone, virtually, or in-person

  • Navigators know who to call to get the right answers to your questions

  • Navigators get to move to the front of the line when solving problems so you get the correct information you need faster

A Certified Navigator’s job is to be your advocate. Having access to health insurance can be life-saving. Health insurance gives you access to preventative care and protects you against unexpected medical costs. You cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Who can a Navigator Help

Not on the list?  This list is not comprehensive, please reach out to our local Navigator to see how we can help

Employed with no Employer sponsored insurance

Whether employed full time or part time, if you are not offered employer sponsored health insurance, you may qualify for a marketplace plan.

No longer qualified for KanCare (Medicaid)

Due to the current Medicaid unwinding, individuals and families that no longer qualify for KanCare, may qualify for a marketplace plan.

Family Members whose Employer Sponsored Family Plan is not affordable

Under a new law, if the family plan offered by an employer is over a certain percentage of the employee's income, the FAMILY may qualify for a Marketplace Plan

Loss of coverage

Whether laid off, left a job, or another circumstance, you may qualify for a marketplace plan.

Young Adult turning 26 and going off their parents plan

If you are employed and aging off of your parent or guardian's health insurance plan, you may qualify for a marketplace plan.

Retiring Early

Wanting to retire before qualifying for Medicare?  Reach out to our local navigator as you may qualify for a marketplace plan.

FAQS

ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS A NAVIGATOR?

Certified Navigators are available free of charge to help you find the right health insurance plan and guide you through the application process. If you have Marketplace questions at any time during the year, you can contact your Navigator for answers.

DOES IT COST MONEY TO GET HELP FROM A NAVIGATOR?

No. Navigators are not sales people. The services provided by Navigators are free, unbiased, and confidential.

WHY SHOULD I GET HELP FROM A NAVIGATOR?

Working with a Navigator can save you time and make sure you are getting the best coverage for your budget and needs. This support is ongoing. So if you have questions in the future or your circumstances change, your Navigator can continue to help you.

WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE AN INSURANCE PLAN?

If you would like to keep your current plan and it’s still available and your tax credits do not change than you do not need to do anything. You will be automatically renewed for 2024. However, it is recommended that you visit with a Navigator when renewing to ensure you have the right tax credits applied. If your household size or income have changed, you should update your plan information with the assistance of a Navigator so you get the full savings available to you. If your current plan isn’t covering all of your needs, a Navigator can help you make changes to your plan.

WHEN CAN I ENROLL?

Open enrollment begins November 1, 2023 and ends January 15, 2024. For health coverage that begins January 1, 2024 applications must be submitted by December 15, 2023. There are certain circumstances that may qualify you for special enrollment.

WHAT IS OPEN ENROLLMENT?

Open enrollment is the annual period where you can enroll in ACA-compliant health insurance plans. If you miss it, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period to make any changes, unless you qualify for Special Enrollment. 

WHAT IS SPECIAL ENROLLMENT?

Once the Open Enrollment Period for this year is over, you can only enroll in or change a Marketplace health plan if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You may be eligible based on estimated household income, or if you experience a life event such as getting married, moving, having a baby, adopting a child, placing a child for foster care, getting divorced or legally separated and losing your health insurance, or if someone in your household died. You can also qualify for Special Enrollment if you or anyone in your household lost qualifying health coverage in the past 60 days (or more than 60 days ago but since January 1, 2020) OR expects to lose coverage in the next 60 days, or if you or anyone in your household newly gained access to an individual coverage HRA or a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) in the past 60 days OR expects to in the next 60 days.

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