Authorization for New York State Continuing Education Training for Assistors
Expanding Health Care Coverage
July 25, 2014
Nearly 1 million New Yorkers have gained public or private insurance since the start of open enrollment last fall. Much of this enrollment relied on an army of in-person assistors to provide one-on-one, face-to-face guidance to those seeking to enroll.
New York State has funded nonprofit organizations and trained their staff members, called navigators, to provide independent, neutral, direct enrollment assistance. New York has offered training support—though not funding—to train certified application counselors (CACs) to also provide in-person enrollment assistance. As of May 1, 2014, the State’s health exchange, NY State of Health Marketplace, has trained and certified 651 navigators and 4,103 CACs throughout New York State. To meet the needs of the next enrollment period, NYSHealth awarded a grant to Health Research, Inc., (HRI) to support a continuing education training program for these assistors, both navigators and CACs; develop training materials; and create a recognition and awards program for assistors.
Under this grant, NYSHealth funds were used to sponsor three sessions of a training series, conducted by webinar, as part of a continuing education program for in-person assistors. Funding from NYSHealth was used to designate an official co-sponsor of the trainings and to support hiring nationally known external presenters and trainers for trainings on the following topics: immigration rules, cultural competency and young adults, and health plan selections. Funds also supported training materials that are now available on the New York State Department of Health’s website, as well as a recognition and awards program for navigators and CACs who successfully completed the training program and have shown innovative ideas to support enrollment.