Obamacare “navigators,” who were supposed to be available to assist Americans in the confusing process of signing up for insurance, are a scarce resource in South Carolina, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.
Paid for with federal money, the navigators were hired to provide unbiased advice to Americans and assist them in signing up for health care, but finding one of the more than 100 navigators in South Carolina can be difficult.
“The navigators are unevenly distributed throughout the state, and the federal government isn’t tracking where there are too many or too few,” Lauren Sausser, a health care reporter for the Courier, wrote.
Just one navigator covers the entire tri-county area of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester, according to Sausser, despite the area having more than 110,000 uninsured residents.
Just one person to assist 110,000 people. And other than Sausser’s reporting, the federal government had no idea how many people that navigator has to help.
The lone navigator, Loreen Myerson, told the Courier she “could use some help” and has to take up to 20 calls per day from people needing her assistance. Myerson’s job as a navigator was supposed to be part-time.
“Meanwhile, there are seven navigators based in Beaufort County, which has less than 27,000 uninsured residents,” Sausser wrote. “In other pockets of South Carolina, there aren't any navigators.”
This is not the only problem facing navigators.
One navigator in rural Nevada said she was only able to sign up 20 people for health care - most of which were for Medicaid - despite having one of the largest territories in the country.