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Help Wanted: Preparing Navigators and Other Assisters to Meet New Consumer Needs

By Elaine Saly,


Consumers will need help applying for and enrolling in the new health insurance options that will be available starting on October 1. States will need to set up navigator and assister programs to meet this need.

Use this tool kit to learn more about the federal requirements for navigator programs, how these programs will operate in the different types of exchanges, and the role of in-person assisters.

State advocates and health policy experts should use this resource to learn the key questions to consider when setting up navigator and in-person assister programs, such as:

  • How can navigators reach consumers in underserved communities?
  • How can navigators provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services?
  • How can navigators make services accessible to people with disabilities?
  • What new areas of expertise will navigators need to develop?
  • What types of ongoing supervision and support resources will navigators need?
  • What types of technology will navigators need?
  • What types of help will consumers need after they enroll?

This brief also addresses the most common issues that consumers will need help with when they apply for health coverage.