Oct 31, 2013
CWA members are helping patients navigate the process of signing up for health insurance for the very first time.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, communities across the country have received $67 million in federal grant money to train, support and certify health care advisors – or navigators – to help people figure out the new health insurance marketplace.
At Kaleida Health in Buffalo, N.Y., Susan Grupp, a member of CWA Local 1168, has been helping people understand the insurance offerings on the New York Health Benefit Exchange, select the best options for their families and determine what level of financial assistance is available to them.
"The very first person we signed up was in tears when she was done, she was so excited. She was among the working poor who are ineligible for Medicaid," said Grupp, who has worked at Kaleida for 34 years. "And all three of us were also teary eyed because she was so excited to have health insurance. Now she can go get a mammogram, go to the doctor and do all the things so many of us take for granted."
The exchanges opened earlier this month. And navigators have been busy since day one.
"Our phones have been ringing off the hook and we're running out of spots for appointments," said Grupp.