Grant money used to educate and enroll people in health insurance plans available through the federal insurance marketplace will be cut to $10 million for the year starting in November, down from $36.8 million in 2017 and $62.5 million in 2016.
Trump administration officials said the insurance counselors, known as navigators, did not enroll enough people to justify more spending. Navigators enrolled less than 1 percent of consumers who signed up for 2018 coverage in 34 states using the federal exchange, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Private sector insurance agents and brokers do a better job at enrolling people, according to CMS.
The grant money was typically awarded to non-profit organizations to aid in educating consumers about health insurance choices. Open enrollment for 2019 coverage begins in November.