ASPIN Health Navigator Program

Apr 21, 2015 07:55 PM
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ASPIN Health Navigator Program

The ASPIN Network is a 20 year old, not for profit, behavioral health network, comprised of seven independently managed rural safety net mental health and addiction providers that provide clinical care through a matrix of 47 offices. ASPIN serves 62,000 consumers annually, 19,000 uninsured. All network members sign a memorandum of understanding and utilize a part time navigator for assistance with healthcare insurance enrollment at their facility.

Resources Used

ASPIN was successful in obtaining funding from CMS in both year one and two to establish the ASPIN Health Navigator Program which employs 20 navigators. Data is collected per the cooperative agreement guidelines which include: navigators completing Federal and State certification, consumer enrollments by Marketplace or Medicaid plans, consumer appointments (first time, follow-up and telephone), Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) appointments, outreach and enrollment events, and marketing activities and consumers reached.


An ASPIN Health Navigator Program is comprised of a project director, three regional supervisors, a human resource coordinator and 15 community based part-time navigators. All the positions maintain Federal and State navigator certifications. Navigators are equipped with Mobile units that include an encrypted laptop, scanner, mobile Mi-fi, marketing banner and office supplies which allow them to respond to locally and attend enrollment events. Policies were developed to address: confidentiality and data security, HIPAA compliance, safety, conflict of interest, education loans, administrative duties, outreach activities, group enrollment events, consent forms, certification and certification renewal. Navigators are required to submit weekly work plans, outreach logs, and consent forms. Each supervisor maintains an ongoing relationship with approximately five navigators in their geographic region to pool resources at large enrollment events. Navigators are required to attend biweekly information update conference calls and two in-house trainings annually.

Lessons Learned


  • Lack of receptivity and understanding of the ACA
  • Indiana Medicaid Expansion did not take place until the middle of 2nd year which left 350,000 consumers in the healthcare coverage gap the 1st year
  • Complex enrollments and consumers unfamiliar with health insurance
  • Indiana required additional navigation certification on top of the required Federal navigator certification

Lessons Learned:

  • Power of Peers: Hire a diverse workforce to interface accordingly with consumers.
  • Collaborations are Golden: Utilize organization’s existing events to market your services. 
  • Identify Champions: Partner with key individuals in communities that can connect and support your program. 
  • Easy Access: Go to your consumer in their community setting. 
  • Share your Successes: Word of mouth referrals are the best form of marketing.


ASPIN Health Navigator Program Results (9/13 through 3/15):

  • Access to healthcare insurance was improved in 90 of the 92 Indiana counties
  • 2,620 consumers enrolled in qualified health plans
  • 4,375 appointments conducted to assist consumers in enrollment or to clarify insurance coverage
  • 1,172 enrollment and outreach events conducted or attended
  • 1,006 marketing or promotional events conducted
  • 1,855,672 individuals received information about healthcare insurance enrollment
Unanticipated Program Outcomes: 
  • Development of a Navigator Marketing Toolkit and Media Campaign; 
  • ASPIN certification by Indiana Department of Insurance to provide state navigator training and continuing education courses;
  • Ability to cross-train navigators as Indiana certified community health workers
  • Successful collaborations with Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Indiana Rural Health Association, and Ivy Tech Community College


Kathy Cook
Ph: 317-471-1890

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