The $80 million is the largest allocation the government has made to the Navigator program and is an eight-fold increase in funding from the previous year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will make $80 million available in grants to Navigators in the Affordable Care Act marketplace to help people enroll in health insurance for the 2022 plan year.

The funding will be used for outreach and education efforts and is the largest allocation CMS has made available to Navigator grants to date. It is an eight-fold increase in funding from the previous year, after the Trump administration cut funding for the program.

“Navigators play a key role in helping us educate consumers about health plan options. Today’s announcement builds upon the steps the Administration has taken to ensure individuals and families can access quality, affordable health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in the announcement. “This eight-fold increase in Navigator funding will help consumers deciding whether to enroll or continue their health care coverage through during the Open Enrollment period this fall.”

The Department also released the 2021 Marketplace Open Enrollment report, which shows more than 12 million consumers nationally selected a marketplace plan during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP), a 5 percent increase from the 2020 OEP.

This year the Biden administration also opened a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency from February 15 to August 15, 2021. More than 500,000 Americans have signed up for marketplace plans through during the SEP.

Other findings from the 2021 Marketplace Open Enrollment report:

  • Nationally, 21 percent of consumers with a plan selection during the 2021 OEP were new to the marketplaces through which they enrolled, compared to 25 percent during the 2020 OEP.
  • In states with marketplaces using the platform, 88 percent of enrolling consumers lowered their premiums with advance payments of the premium tax credit (APTC) in the 2021 OEP, a one-percentage point increase from the 2020 OEP.
  • After application of APTC, the average monthly net premium for consumers receiving APTC was $92 in the 2021 OEP, compared to $89 in the 2020 OEP.