Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB) was awarded Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator Program cooperative agreements in 2013 and 2014 to serve the American Indian population in South Dakota and North Dakota. Under the Affordable Care Act, a number of special provisions affecting American Indians were implemented, including a waiver of the ACA mandate for coverage and open enrollment throughout the year. American Indians have access to primary health services through the Indian Health Service, but are less likely to have comprehensive health insurance to cover specialist and hospital care than are other racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. The goals of the current and new GPTCHB Navigator Program include: Goal 1: Increase awareness of the ACA opportunity to obtain health insurance and benefits of insurance coverage among AIs residing in SD and ND; and Goal 2: Provide enrollment assistance at convenient locations throughout the two-State region through certified employed and volunteer Navigators. Volunteer Navigators are recruited from Tribal and urban Indian health centers, Healthy Start programs, and Indian Health Service facilities.
GPTCHB has subcontracted with Sundance Research Institute to provide technical assistance for data collection, database management, and reporting on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis on the Navigator activities and completed enrollments. In addition, Sundance Research Institute staff members have completed training and are certified as Navigators, which permits us to support GPTCHB enrollment events, as needed.