Since the end of the Public Health Emergency and the unrolling of Medicaid, health insurance workers are already seeing an uptick in inquiries.
West Virginia Navigator provides free assistance to people in finding and selecting health care options through the Marketplace, Medicaid and CHIP.
The organization’s program director, Jeremy Smith, said the majority of the calls they receive are from people who have lost their Medicaid coverage.
“We’ve been pretty busy compared to this time last year,” Smith said. “We’ve even begun to come in on Saturdays so that we can help folks on weekends as well.”
Smith said most callers fall into three separate groups: those who could pick up insurance from their employer, those who qualify for Medicare and those who can purchase insurance on the healthcare.gov marketplace.
“We just kind of guide them through that whole process and talk to them about those three different options and then kind of zero in and help them figure it all out,” he said.
Smith said health insurance is complicated, confusing and full of acronyms, which is why people usually call West Virginia Navigator for assistance in acquiring health insurance.
“We spend a lot of time with each family to make sure that they understand exactly how an insurance plan works anytime they get it either through their employer or through the marketplace,” Smith said.
Smith said his biggest worry with pandemic-era benefits ending and many losing their health insurance is that people will choose to go without.
To learn more about West Virginia Navigator and how they can assist those who need health insurance, visit wvnavigator.com or call 304-356-5834.