In other words, they missed their 5,800 goal by exactly 5,800 people.
Even when the Obama administration was under the impression that the launch of the Affordable Care Act was going to work splendidly, with a first-rate website, the plan still called for “navigators” to help people sign up. Now, with the ACA website Healthcare.gov hobbled, and even many of the president’s supporters grumbling that the law may need a radical rethinking, the work of the tens of thousands of these helpers is more vital than ever.
How’s it going? Not well, to judge from a visit with navigators in North Carolina, one of 34 states that decided not to open their own health-insurance exchanges.
Durham is a relatively low-income city—nearly 19% of the residents are below the poverty level—that is 41% African-American and 14% Hispanic. It is the type of place that the White House expects to benefit most from ObamaCare. Yet the navigators I spoke with there earlier this month say interest has been sparse. Organizations like the Alcohol and Drug Council of North Carolina and the Lincoln Community Health Center that received federal funds to hire navigators are contemplating how to reach out to potential enrollees, given that waiting for phone calls or walk-ins is not proving fruitful. [...]
Mr. Myint is prohibited from steering her toward one plan or another, and Ms. Munier, saying it’s all too confusing, wants more time to look over her options. For today, she doesn’t enroll on the exchange.
It’s a familiar experience for Mr. Myint. After starting Oct. 1, when the exchanges went live, his organization was aiming to sign up 5,800 people by the end of March 2014. It has a long way to go.
“We have yet to see an application from start to finish,” he says.
The current HHS navigator grants last for one year, ending next fall. Surveying the battlefield, Mr. Myint says: “I think there will be plenty of navigation left to do after this year.”http://weaselzippers.us/2013/12/01/north-carolina-obamacare-navigator-group-that-planned-to-sign-up-5800-people-weve-yet-to-see-an-application-from-start-to-finish/