ACA Navigator Updates On Enrollment Progress

Home » Here and Now » All Episodes » ACA Navigator Updates On Enrollment Progress

ACA Navigator Updates On Enrollment Progress

Premiere Date: 
November 15, 2013

DHHS numbers released this week showed 877 Wisconsinites have picked a health care plan.

 

Episode Transcript: 

Frederica Freyberg:

Changes, problems, delays, try being on the ground helping people who want to enroll in the healthcare marketplace. That's where exchange navigators come in. In northwest Wisconsin, the Concentrated Employment Program is now providing navigating help in 27 counties, at job centers, libraries, senior centers and college campuses. It's been a rough ride. We check in now with navigator Tasha Hagberg, who works out of Spooner. And thanks very much for being with us.   

Tasha Hagberg:

Thank you for having me.   

Frederica Freyberg:

Well, so what's your reaction to Governor Walker delaying the cutoff by three months for the 77,000 people who will be losing their BadgerCare and for those who are on the high-risk plan?   

Tasha Hagberg:

My reaction is positive. I think it's going to give us a lot more time to be able to reach people who still, for some reason, are not even aware that this change was happening. So I think that's going to be good. I think it's still going to create confusion, though, for the people that we have enrolled in the system as to are they still enrolled as of January 1st, should they hang on to their BadgerCare? Those are going to be questions that we now need to figure out so we can answer.   

Frederica Freyberg:

I was going to ask, those are questions that you don't even have the answers to yet.   

Tasha Hagberg:

Nobody has given us any information other than what we read on the news.   

Frederica Freyberg:

So as a navigator who is working to try to get people who want to enroll, enrolled, what is it like to deal with these kinds of constant changes and deadlines and delays and all of that?   

Tasha Hagberg:

I always tell everybody when I'm doing a meeting, a presentation, that I'm learning something new every day as well. A lot of it is we need to just slow down and take the time to keep up with the updates that are out there, because we don't want to give any misinformation, and that's something that we're very conscientious of, and we want to make sure that we're presenting the most accurate information up to date. But there is always that risk and we feel the pressure of that on the ground.   

Frederica Freyberg:

What population are you working with?   

Tasha Hagberg:

We are working with just about everybody. I personally work with the individual marketplace, so I'm working with all eligible adults and families in four counties in northwestern Wisconsin, as well as I'm the shop coordinator for small businesses for 27 counties in Wisconsin. So I'm kind of dealing with both.   

Frederica Freyberg:

That's a lot of work, a lot of counties. What are you seeing? Are people able to get through on the web site, or otherwise, are they able to enroll?   

Tasha Hagberg:

For the past two weeks, I've had a lot of success enrolling individuals and families in the marketplace, in the individual marketplace. It's really been much simpler than it was in the beginning. However, having said that, we are still encountering glitches, and even when we call the toll free help center and we have our own dedicated navigator line, we are still being told, oh, just sit and wait. This is a glitch. We don't know how to solve this yet. So I still have a few people that are in limbo.   

Frederica Freyberg:

Because we've seen the numbers that were just released that fewer than 900 people in Wisconsin have been able to enroll. Do you have any numbers on the part of your organization, your navigators, how many have enrolled?   

Tasha Hagberg:

I'm going to say it's going to be in the ballpark of about 25 to 30 that I've seen that have been updated on our spreadsheet. I personally have fully, completely enrolled about 11 people.   

Frederica Freyberg:

Wow. It seems small.   

Tasha Hagberg:

It's not a lot.   

Frederica Freyberg:

Yeah. But what are their costs looking like?   

Tasha Hagberg:

100% of the 11 people that I have helped enroll all the way have been happy with their costs. So their costs have either been lower than what they were paying before, similar to what they had with BadgerCare premiums, or are right-- You know, some of them are actually a lot lower than what they were paying, especially people that were on the high-risk plans with preexisting conditions.   

Frederica Freyberg:

Well, I know that we talked a little bit about, you know, not having all the information to questions that people have at this moment, but what are the other concerns right now as you work toward navigating these people into these plans?   

Tasha Hagberg:

The biggest concerns that we have, here in northern Wisconsin on the individual marketplace, we only have one insurance company that is servicing most of our area, and that is a concern for a lot of people, because they-- it is an HMO plan, which means a lot of people are losing their doctors. That's a concern. We also have a lot of border towns. I was in Burnett County yesterday and a lot of the people over there doctor in Minneapolis, and a lot of those doctors are not covered under the plans that are offered to them under this HMO plan in Wisconsin. So that's something I don't have any control of. But it is a concern that we have to answer to on a daily basis.   

Frederica Freyberg:

Yeah, absolutely because that's another one of those things that people probably heard the president say, if you like your plan, or you like your doctor, you can keep those things. And now we're finding, and he's admitting, at least on the plan piece, that that's not always true.   

Tasha Hagberg:

You know, we are hoping that that will, with more insurers coming on board, hopefully in future years, that that will change. But it's definitely a concern to many right now.   

Frederica Freyberg:

All right. We need to leave it there. Thank you for joining us in the midst of a very busy time for you, and other navigators. Tasha Hagberg out of Spooner.   

Tasha Hagberg:

Thank you.    


We’d love to hear from you. Please send us your comment or story suggestion.

Get to know the Here and Now crew.

Find information on elections and candidates and connect to coverage from Wisconsin Public Television and Radio.