The overarching goal of this proposed project is to decrease the number of uninsured individuals and improve access to and utilization of health care services among underserved vulnerable populations and ultimately promote health and well-being and decrease health disparities for left-behind populations in Michigan. In this proposed Navigator program, our project team will partner with Association of Chinese Americans, Burma Center, Bangladesh American Public Affairs Committee, Community Welfare Services of North Detroit, and West Michigan Asian American Association to provide targeted assistance for 1) racial and minority groups of Asian Pacific Americans (APA) and refugees, 2) pregnant women, new mothers, and women with children, 3) low income, and 4) Medicaid-eligible consumers who are not enrolled in coverage despite being eligible for Medicaid. Specifically, APA immigrants and refugees (who have high uninsured rates), APAs with limited English proficiency and/or health literacy who lack a general knowledge about affordable health insurance options and ways for enrollment. In FY2023-24 Navigator Program, the project team is requesting $894,203 to achieve following objectives: 1) train and certify and maintain a team of bilingual experienced navigators to carry out the Navigator duties and additional requirements, 2) conduct public and in-person education to raise awareness of the availability of qualified health plans, 3) distribute fair and impartial information concerning enrollment in qualified health plans, and the availability of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, 4) facilitate enrollment in qualified health plans, 5) provide referrals to appropriate offices and agencies for health insurance consumer assistance and assist enrollees with issues related grievances, complaints, or questions regarding their health plan, coverage, or a determination, and 6) provide culturally and linguistically appropriate information for under
served vulnerable population served by the federally-facilitated exchange (FFE). In particular, the project team will be staffed with 22 Navigators (2 full-time and 16 Part-time effort @25% time) federally trained and certified/re-certified by October 1, 2023 and throughout the Open Enrollment [OE]) and will add 4 Navigators Part-time effort @ 25% time (with a total of 22 Navigators; 2 full-time, 20 @25% time during the post-OE, January 16, 2024 through the end of FY2023-24 budget year) to serve consumers in Calhoun, Kent, Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties in Michigan and focused on cities with high uninsured rates. Based on years of expertise in building community capacity and experience in providing direct services and outreach education for APA populations in past open enrollment periods, the project team is well positioned to maximize the effectiveness of proposed activities by increasing leverage of shared resources in achieving maximum impact on program outcomes.