story of the month: Grant county navigator

March 2023

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

From a navigator in grant county, kansas:

Mary* is 61 years old and lives with her daughter, who is over the age of 18. She has been a stay-at-home mom her entire life, dedicated to taking care of her child.

Mary relied on her husband’s employment health coverage. But when her husband passed away, her health insurance changed; her premiums are now $800 per month, which is well over the amount of money she makes.

Mary makes around $10,800 per year, but as a childless adult, she doesn’t qualify for the state’s Medicaid program, KanCare. Her income does not allow her to make enough to qualify for subsidies on the Health Insurance Marketplace, either.

Mary is a few years away from qualifying for Medicare, but she needs health insurance now. She’s been putting off care and can’t get proper treatment for her health conditions because Kansas hasn’t expanded KanCare.

Expanding KanCare would help Mary, and the thousands of Kansans just like her living in the health insurance coverage gap.

*Mary is a pseudonym