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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

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Health navigator

originally posted: 8/16/2011      last update:

Q: Is a health navigator covered by insurance?

A: The term "health navigator" could refer to either of two types of services but neither is widely covered by insurance at this time.

Specialty hospitals, cancer treatment centers and other health care facilities typically offer navigators to assist through the complex process of coordinating care. These navigators are typically nurses.

Also, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 utilized the term "navigator" to refer to a person who helps an individual find appropriate insurance through a health insurance exchange. This serive will be paid though government funding beginning in 2014 for qualifying individuals. We are affiliated with OnlineNavigator that is expected to focus on providing services to  individuals whose income is less than 400% of poverty level. This generally means those individuals whose income makes them not eligible for Medicaid but who cannot afford commercial insurance. Insurance navigators are typically financial advisers whose services are not currently within the reach of lower income individuals without a government subsidy.

At this time the best way to cover the cost of a navigator is through a supplemental insurance plan. UnitedHealthcare offers cancer supplement coverage in a growing number of states and Freedom Benefits offers supplemental Core Health Insurance and Basic Health Insurance. All of these are cash indemnity plans which means that they pay cash to the policyholder tin addition to all other insurance. This cash can be used at the discretion of the policy owner to pay for any expenses, including either type of navigator services.

Navigators provide a valuable service that is currently not provided by government or private insurance.

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