Seema Verma defends cuts to ACA Navigator program, commitment to states’ ‘flexibility’

Seema Verma speaking at press conference
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said her agency is interested in the most “cost effective” strategy for ACA enrollment. (WhiteHouse.gov)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said her agency is prioritizing the most “cost efficient” path to for Affordable Care Act enrollment later this year—and that largely doesn't include navigators.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced it would provide only $10 million for the navigator program for this fall's open enrollment period, down from $36 million last year.

Officials have said the program has been established enough to the point that the need for federally funded navigators has diminished. They have also criticized the effectiveness of the navigator program compared to the use of agents and brokers, saying nearly 80% of navigators failed to reach their enrollment goals.

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