“Enrollment information and support from a trusted member of the community will reduce out of pocket spending for millions and save lives.” Mona Shah

WASHINGTON, DC Today, the Biden administration announced increased navigator funding over 5 years alongside an equity audit. Community Catalyst released the following statement celebrating and uplifting this news, and the critical role Navigators and community-based organizations play in building a more powerful movement for health justice that is rooted in race equity. 

Statement from Mona Shah, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy at Community Catalyst, on the Biden Administration announcement of increased funding to Navigators:

“This is a big deal. We applaud the Biden administration for taking this important step to ensure more people have the coverage and care they want and need to be healthy. This increased funding is an endorsement of the critical role that Navigators play in our health system and will further empower community-based organizations to provide even more equitable support in diverse communities across the country. 

“Health insurance is complex and navigating the enrollment process can be daunting for anyone, but especially so for those that are eligible for Medicaid or tax credits. Due to structural racism, classism and other forms of oppression, the communities that stand to benefit the most from expanded coverage options are often under-resourced and subject to predatory and misleading information. Indeed, 25.6 million people remain uninsured in the United States today, and more than half of those people are eligible for Medicaid or Marketplace tax credits.

“Enrollment assistance and education from a trusted member of the community will reduce out of pocket spending and save lives. With sustained resources and support of Navigators — alongside community-based organizations and community leaders — we can increase trust in our health system overall.”

Additional background about Community Catalyst’s vision and approach: 

  • More people than ever have health insurance in the United States, thanks to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Still, at least 26 million people remain uninsured because our current system is overly complex and entrenched in discriminatory policies that create barriers to coverage. As a result, a disproportionate number of uninsured people are those who have been historically harmed by our health system: Black and brown people, Indigenous people, LGBTQ+ people, and immigrants.
  • Community Catalyst has long advocated for a re-imagining of enrollment systems so that there are significantly more resources for community-based organizations doing enrollment work, and so that enrollment in health insurance is aligned with voter registration and other essential programs, such as enrollment in reduced-price lunches for school kids or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Learn more here

If you would like to speak to Mona, or another Community Catalyst expert, about this announcement, please reach out to Doug Gordon at doug@upshiftstrategies.com