story of the month: NEK-CAP navigator

July 2023

A navigator is an individual trained to help consumers as they look for health insurance, including coverage options and completing the paperwork necessary to enroll in coverage. Health care navigators are unbiased and their services are free to consumers.


As a navigator working for the Northeast Kansas Community Action Program (NEK-CAP), our storyteller this month had a client come in looking for health insurance. The client was a woman living in the area who had been experiencing several health issues. These health issues prompted her to seek help in looking for health insurance to help pay for her treatments.

The navigator began looking for health insurance options for the client, but it quickly became clear that she would be unable to afford any of her options. She didn’t make enough money to qualify for financial assistance on the Health Insurance Marketplace, so the premiums for that coverage were too high for the client. But she also made too much to qualify for KanCare, leaving this client in the coverage gap.

The navigator described how the client left “feeling defeated” and “extremely disappointed” that she didn’t have any affordable options for health insurance. With the health conditions the client is facing, not having health insurance is a really big problem.

This client is one of thousands of Kansans living in the coverage gap. And this navigator is one of many who see clients everyday who don’t have access to affordable health insurance options.

Around 150,000 Kansans would immediately benefit from expanding KanCare, including:

  • Kansans losing their KanCare coverage as Medicaid redeterminations begin again
  • Parents and caregivers who make too much for KanCare but not enough for financial help on the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Low-income adults without dependent children
  • Kansans with disabilities
  • Low-wage workers who aren’t offered employer-based health insurance
  • Kansans with behavioral or mental health challenges

Do you know someone who recently lost KanCare coverage due to the re-starting of KanCare renewals? Are you living in the coverage gap without health insurance and want to tell your story? Email Marissa Alcantar at