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Do your clients need health coverage? The Health Insurance Marketplace is the place to get coverage.

Visit HealthCare.gov to find the latest, most accurate, information about the Marketplace. Learn how the Marketplace works, who can apply for coverage, how to lower costs, and more. When your clients are ready to apply and enroll in coverage, HealthCare.gov is the place for that, too!

Getting covered is especially important for women. Before the Health Insurance Marketplace opened in January 2014, approximately 17 million women, or 17% of American women ages 19 to 64, were uninsured. With the Marketplace, that rate dropped by almost 5%, with more than 4.3 million American women getting coverage by mid-2014. Even so, there’s still a great need for coverage so that even more women will have access to the care they need.

Now is the time to enroll!  Marketplace Open Enrollment ends on January 31st.  Enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is available year-round.

If there are questions about what the Health Insurance Marketplace offers, visit HealthCare.gov or call the Marketplace Call Center toll-free at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Tell the customer service representative if help is needed in a language other than English. Visit Localhelp.healthcare.gov to find help in your area.

NHSA was pleased to be a grantee for year 2 of the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace navigators program. In addition to our program in West Virginia, we added Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, & Pennsylvania!

In August 2013, HHS announced NHSA as one of 105 organizations nationwide to become Navigator grantees to serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For this inaugural year, NHSA recieved grants to serve in two states: West Virginia and Wisconsin.

About the Affordable Care Act

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond.

One of the key features of the ACA is Establishing Consumer Assistance Programs in the States. Under the law, states that apply receive federal grants to help set up or expand independent offices to help consumers navigate the private health insurance system. The programs hire Navigators.

What is a Navigator? 

A navigator is an individual or organization that's trained and able to help consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms.  Currently, NHSA has two Navigation sites.

Healthy Start Navigators

Within just one short year, both West Virginia and Wisconsin have achieved so much. Accomplishments include:

West Virginia:

  • The WV HAPI Project covered 8 counties in rural Appalachian W. Virginia reaching over 3,000 face-to-face consumers in 6 months.
  • Navigators conducted outreach and recruitment including “Community Baby Showers” to provide information and enrollment opportunities.
  • Worked with diverse groups such as a correctional facility and local Chambers of Commerce to identify large groups of individuals needing healthcare coverage.
  • During May of 2014, West Virginia Navigators participated in a Health Fair at Clarksburg/Highland Hospital in Harrison County; the table was featured on WBOY TV news. 
  • Navigators developed a relationship with a West Virginia University by attending an open house for the new Student Health Services. 


  • BHCW Navigators partnered with an anti-poverty agency that provides energy assistance and tax assistance to provide an onsite Navigator once a week.
  • Working in collaboration with a men’s homeless shelter, BHCW provided assistance to almost 80 men in one month
  • BHCW partnered with the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system to hold an ACA education & enrollment event in an area which allowed BHCW to expand services to a Latino population.
  • In December 2013, BHCW was featured on a 1-hr public access television show that targets the LGBT community to discuss ACA.
  • BHCW received an award on April 25, 2014 as a result of the appearance on public access television. 
  • BHCW reached over 3,500 face-to-face consumers and was featured on two TV shows during the ACA enrollment
  • The CEO of BHCW was a featured speaker on the ACA Enrollment and Outreach panel at the 29th Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium headlined by former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

The WV Healthy Start/HAPI Project is a collective project of the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the WVU Schools of Dentistry, the West Virginia Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health and community health agencies in the counties served by the project. This project has two full time navigators helping to serve and educate residents of Barbour, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, and Upshur counties. The navigator’s services will include educating these counties on the importance of the Affordable Care Act through outreach and enrollment assistance. The WV Health Start/HAPI Project’s main goal is to help families have healthy babies and serving the community through the Navigator Grant is one resource used to help the West Virginia communities achieve this goal.

If you have any questions or would like to inquire more the WV Health Start/HAPI Project and its navigators, please visit http://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/obgyn/HAPI

Milwaukee Healthy Beginnings Project (MHBP) is a project of the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin, Inc. and serves primarily African Americans in seven zip codes throughout the central city. Services offered through Milwaukee Healthy Beginnings Project include: prenatal care, family planning, child care services, health education, and outreach/home visiting. MHBP is offering enrollment assistance and education for the Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act through the Navigator grant to reduce health disparities within their communities.

If you have any questions or would like to inquire more about MHBP and its navigators, please visit http://www.bhcw.org.



The National Healthy Start Association Inc.
1325 G Street, NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 296-2195 
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© Copyright 2015 National Healthy Start Association

Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative

Check our our 2nd Edition! It chronicles the birth of Healthy Start and NHSA and includes profiles and photographs from the federally-funded Healthy Start Initiatives.