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Biden Administration Increases Funding for ACA Navigators

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The nearly $19 million boost comes after the Inflation Reduction Act extended enhanced premium tax credits for ACA marketplaces policies through 2025.

The Biden administration announced today that it was increasing funding for Affordable Care Act (ACA) navigators by almost $19 million.

“This is a historic investment to connect people to high-quality, affordable health care,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a press release.

“Along with increased premium subsidies there’s no question President Biden has followed through on reinvigorating the ACA,” tweeted Larry Levitt, executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The administration allocated $80 million for navigators in 2021, which it says resulted in a workforce of 1,500 certified navigators. This year it is increasing the navigator funds to $98.9 million. The money is distributed to state and local organizations that hire and train navigators.

Open enrollment for 2023 ACA marketplace plans starts Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 15, 2023. Last year, 14.1 million people selected an ACA marketplace plan during the open enrollment.

The Trump administration cut navigator funding to $10 million annually.

The boost in funds for navigators comes on the heels of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which has several provisions that bolster the ACA, most notably the extension for three years of the enhanced premium subsidies that were part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.The enhanced premium subsides work in two ways. They lower the share of income that people with low and middle incomes must pay toward a premium for a middle-range ACA “silver” plan. They also extended the subsides, which come in the form of tax credits, to people with higher incomes, specifically 400% of the federal poverty line and above. Previously, the subsidies ended abruptly at 400% of the federal poverty line. 

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