AZ Center for Rural Health, Preparing for Round 3 ACA Open Enrollment

What is a Navigator?

Navigators serve as in-person resources in their communities. They help consumers shop for and enroll in health insurance through Arizona’s insurance Marketplace. Navigators assist consumers for free. Refer to The Connector to schedule an appointment with a Navigator or Certified Application Counselor near you.  

What’s the plan?

AzCRH is creating the AzCRH Navigator Consortium. The Center plans to leverage existing strong relationships with rural residents, Arizona’s Critical Access Hospitals and their affiliated Rural Health Clinics, rural non-profit organizations and the five regional Area Health Education Centers and continue to train health professional students as Certified Application Counselors via SHARE. AzCRH will offer Navigator assistance in Arizona’s 15 counties: Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai and Yuma and work collaboratively with the other Navigator entity, the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers. The Arizona Marketplace open enrollment and plan renewal begins November 1, 2015, and ends January 31, 2016, available on

AzCRH Navigator Consortium Goals:

1. Increase the participation rate of eligible uninsured Arizonans in its Federally Facilitated Marketplace Qualified Health Plans (FFM QHPs).

2. Facilitate re-enrollment for eligible Arizonans in its FFM QHPs.

AzCRH Navigator Consortium Objectives:

1. Place five full time Navigators, and eight temporary Navigators during the open enrollment period, in regional sites to assist uninsured Arizonans with FFM QHP enrollment, and re-enrollment over three years. AzCRH prioritizes hard to reach rural areas and populations with historically low FFM participation rates – Latino, American Indian, rural, disabled and special populations in each county.

2. Raise awareness, provide education, and disseminate FFM enrollment information, education and materials through strategically placed Navigators, Certified Assistance Counselors (CACs), Community Health Workers (CHWs), providers, and stakeholders. 

3. Collaborate with consumers, stakeholders, as well as funded Arizona Navigator programs (the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

4. Develop, support, and expand sustainable enrollment, re-enrollment and self-management.

5. Evaluate outcomes and use data to inform continuous Navigator program improvement.

“The Center’s mission is to improve the health and wellness of Arizona’s rural and vulnerable populations. The Navigator grant will help us provide education and information in rural and hard to reach consumers about their choices in health insurance coverage,” Dr. Derksen explained. “We are honored to receive this CMS notice of award, and are eager to get started on this important work.”

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Authors: Dan Derksen, MDMartha Monroy


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