Press Release and Fact Sheet for In-Person Assistor and Navigator Program for the New York Health Benefit Exchange

New York Health Benefit Exchange Announces RFA for In-Person Assistor and Navigator Program

ALBANY, NY (February 13, 2013) – The New York Health Benefit Exchange today released a Request for Application (RFA) for the In-Person Assistor (IPA) and Navigator Program, which will provide in-person enrollment assistance to individuals, families, small businesses and their employees who apply for health insurance through the Exchange.

“Our goal is to build a statewide network of trained and certified IPAs/Navigators to assist individuals, families and small businesses in applying for and enrolling in affordable, quality  health insurance through the Exchange,” said Donna Frescatore, executive director, New York Health Benefit Exchange. “Individuals, families and small businesses will have the option to work with IPAs/Navigators to help guide them through the application and enrollment process and to help them access tax credits to help pay for the cost of coverage.”  

Modeled on successful community assistance programs in New York, the IPA/Navigator program is designed to meet the needs of New Yorkers by providing assistance in community-based locations. IPAs/Navigators will provide culturally competent, linguistically appropriate, and disability accessible enrollment services. They will be available at convenient times, including evenings and weekends, at no cost to enrollees.

The Exchange will provide IPA/Navigator grants to a diverse group of organizations that will provide high-quality enrollment assistance in all counties and boroughs of the state.

IPAs/Navigators will receive grants to:

  • provide in-person assistance to those applying for health insurance coverage at the time of initial application and at annual renewal;
  • offer information on the types of health insurance programs available through the Exchange;
  • provide application assistance for private and public health insurance programs and advance premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions;
  • refer consumers to other organizations for help with grievances, complaints or questions regarding health coverage or a determination related to coverage; and
  • supply information in a fair and impartial manner which is culturally and linguistically appropriate, and disability accessible, for those using the Exchange, including individuals with limited English proficiency. 

A requirement of the federal law, the IPA/Navigator program will be an ongoing feature of the Exchange, with IPAs/Navigators in place for the initial open enrollment period that begins October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2014.

It is estimated that at full enrollment more than 1 million New Yorkers will obtain insurance through the Exchange, including 615,000 individuals and 450,000 small business employees.

To apply for IPA/Navigator funds, entities must have no conflicts of interest and must be able to carry out all duties described in the RFA. 

Eligible entities include:

  • Community and consumer-focused nonprofit organizations;
  • Trade, industry and professional associations;
  • Commercial fishing industry organizations, ranching and farming organizations;
  • Chambers of Commerce;
  • Unions;
  • Resource partners of the U.S. Small Business Administration;
  • Licensed agents and brokers who do not receive direct or indirect consideration from health insurers for enrolling individuals, small businesses, or small business employees in health plans or supplementary health plans;
  • Indian tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations; and
  • Other public or private entities that meet the requirements of the RFA (See RFA for additional details)

Entities that are eligible and interested in becoming IPAs/Navigators may download the RFA from the NYS Department of Health’s public website at

For more information about the New York Health Benefit Exchange, please visit

The New York Health Benefit Exchange is designed to help individuals, families and small businesses shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage. Through the Exchange, New Yorkers will compare Qualified Health Plans, calculate costs and select coverage online, in person, over-the-phone or by mail and determine what type of financial assistance may be available. Public health care programs will be available through the Exchange for those who are eligible. Qualified Health Plans can be purchased beginning on October 1, 2013 and will be effective January 1, 2014. For more information, visit




New York State Department of Health

(518) 474-7354 ext. 1                                    

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Navigator-IPA Invitation Fact Sheet.pdf 43.8 KB