Administration awards $67M to 'navigators' promoting ObamaCare

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department released $67 million in grants Wednesday for "navigators" who will help people make sense of new coverage options under ObamaCare.

The department said 105 organizations received the grants to help explain coverage options in states where the federal government is running all or part of newly created insurance exchanges.

Republicans have raised questions about the navigators program, warning participants could make off with personal information from people seeking insurance.


The administration says the program will provide valuable assistance to people who do not understand their options or who prefer in-person assistance over Web and telephone support.

"Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the marketplace,” HHS Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusWorking for lasting change Former HHS secretary Sebelius joins marijuana industry group More than 200 Obama officials sign letter supporting Biden's stimulus plan MORE said.

Navigators will have to complete 20 to 30 hours of training to become certified, HHS said, and are subject to prosecution if they violate state or federal privacy laws.

The funding opportunity for navigators was initially pegged at "up to" $54 million, but HHS awarded $67 million in grants Thursday.

The awardees included community organizations, universities and healthcare centers.

A list of all the ObamaCare navigators is available here.