The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has raised many questions. Independent help resources for consumers, particularly advisers not sponsored by government, insurance exchange or insurance company interests, are almost non-existent. OnlineNavigator offers assistance with any issue related to health care reform without charge, subject to the fair use agreement.
OnlineNavigator is an independent consumer advisory service not affiliated with any government program or insurance company or navigator grantee. The operator of OnlineNavigator is Tony Novak who provides a limited amount of free assistance with consumer issues including health insurance enrollment but is paid for professional accounting services, writing and presentation services, web traffic, advertising, endorsements and referrals to other public and commercial companies including government-provided insurance programs, public and private health insurance exchanges and other health services providers.
The state insurance exchange is usually the primary source of information about primary health insurance available to individuals but not everyone qualifies for this coverage. If you can't get information or coverage through the usual system, OnlineNavigator may be able to help point to additional resources.
A health insurance exchange is usually the best source of information if you want to:
Check out the Health Insurance Navigator online discussion group at LinkedIn for firms that provide navigator or in-person enrollment services.
Federal regulation of the navigator grantees and non-navigator personnel restricts the advice that these companies and individuals may provide. For example, navigators may not compare the strengths and weaknesses of two competing health plans and may not present options outside of the official health insurance exchange. OnlineNavigator is not bound by these restrictions and ma discuss any topic of interest to consumers.
OnlineNavigator's consumer adviser completes the same basic training and annual certification education programs (for both individual and SHOP marketplaces) developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as federal navigators and also completes the continuing education programs required for insurance producers in all 50 states and DC as well as the continuing education requirements of the Delaware State Board of Accountancy.
No In-person or telephone support: OnlineNavigator currently offers only Web-based and email support. The service is free but limited to the resources available through Tony Novak, CPA, an independent health care reform advocate who has addressed more than 50,000 consumer questions about health insurance in a range of industry positions since 1997. If you need personal telephone enrollment support, we recommend using the commercial insurance agents of Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.
No health insurance exchange or producer affiliation - In order to maintain independence, we are not affiliated with any producer for a health insurance exchange or any health insurance company. We do maintain business affiliations with companies, producers and exchanges for coverage other than health insurance as regulated under the Affordable Care Act.
No health insurance claim assistance - OnlineNavigator does not provide help with medical claims but we are pleased to refer Insnet for this purpose.
No overlap of services - OnlineNavigator does not provide help with telephone enrollment support for health insurance plans where commercial insurance agents, Navigators or other service providers are already available. OnlineNavigator focuses on providing support that is not otherwise available.
No Medicaid or Medicare support - If you qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or subsidized coverage then OnlineNavigator service is not appropriate for you. Please use your state exchange or HealthCare.gov to access the available support for these health plans.
Other news related to OnlineNavigator is posted here.
6/8/2015 The free use policy at OnlinNavigator.org is modified to be consistent with the free initial consultation policy at TonyNovak.com.
11/15/2014 Healthcare.gov officially opens today for 2015 enrollment. See how we graded the site on this Obamacare Report Card.
10/28/2014 Consumer Reports issued an advisory saying that consumers should stay away from HealthCare.gov for another month while software repairs are being made.
10/22/2014 Effective November 2014, agents and brokers can offer insurance products through HealthCare.gov and the other Health Insurance Marketplace exchanges to individuals and businesses on the same terms as these products are offered outside the exchange. Additional training and certification is required. Online Navigator principal Tony Novak has completed the required training for the benefit of OnlineNavigator users but has no plans at this time to affiliate with any insurance carrier or act as agent or broker.
4/10/2014 Open enrollment is closed for 2014 but options remain for those who need coverage. You may be eligible for special enrollment consideration now or a short term medical insurance plan until the next coverage season begins. Even if neither of these applies in your case, Freedom Benefits offers other tips, options and personal guidance to best manage the risk.
2/10/2014 In-person navigator enrollment events will wind down after this week in many parts of the country. The insurance enrollment deadline to avoid a tax penalty is February 15.
12/29/2013 "Understanding the Shared Responsibility Payment" is published to provide answers to commonly asked questions about the details of the individual insurance mandate and tax penalties for 2014.
11/26/2013 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services now reports that 90 percent of users are now able to create accounts at HealthCare.gov even though fewer are successful with completing the enrollment process. Some consumers remain concerned about the fundamental requirement at HealthCare.gov that requires a user to provide personal information before the available insurance requirements are shown. Based on this objection, we made arrangements with Members Insurance Exchange, an alternate private insurance enrollment exchange using a platform developed by Ehealth to provide quotes faster and easier. A number of other commercial service now offer a work-around to insurance pricing at HealthCare.gov. Users can now use any option to get insurance process but lower income applicants should be aware that at this point there are still problems completing the subsidy qualification process with all of these options. The best option is simply to wait until these issues are resolved. If you want coverage that will start January 1, 2014, the application deadline is December 23, 2013. The insurance exchanges expect to have the issues resolved before that date.
10/3/2013 In the first few days of the exchange system the two most common questions are some version of 1) I can't get online and need help right away" and 2) "I want to be a navigator". OnlineNavigator published standardized responses to each question.
9/15/2013 Registration information is available from CMS for brokers and agents who will use the federal health insurance exchange system.