Sigmon is at a table near the exit of a local supermarket in Colorado Springs. It was set up by Connect for Health, Colorado's new health insurance marketplace. They have brochures and little give-away notebooks, lip balm and stocking caps with Connect for Health's logo. Sigmon says lots of people have heard of the marketplace but don't know about navigators.
"And it's because all the advertising that's going on on TV is advertising for Connect for Health website, it's not advertising for us," she says. "Every person that I've had come in is saying I heard about it from my mother, my brother, my friend, whatever, and there's been a couple that come in with a newspaper."
Connect for Health is starting to bring navigators out of their offices as part of a year-end marketing tour that's setting up tables at 20 different supermarkets and pharmacies across the state.
Just What She Needed
Corryn Young was on a break from work at the supermarket – and made the kind of connection that the government and insurers hope for. She saw the Connect for Health table with just what she needed.
"I was just getting Starbucks, but there were obviously a lot of people there interested, and I just kinda stopped and started reading, it was a perfect place to get my questions answered," she says. "If I wanted to get signed up today, they would have walked me through it and got me signed up. I just have to go back to work."
Young made an appointment to follow up with a navigator. And Sigmon, the navigator booked several appointments for people who were glad to learn she's there.
"They are very confused by the Affordable Care Act. There's so many myths out there. And especially Obamacare, they seem to think they're being persecuted to making them have insurance and all this, so there's a lot of confusion."
Whether or not states are taking the federal money, private groups are investing in outreach and enrollment, too. For example, the Colorado Progressive Coalition is sending volunteers to Denver neighborhoods, knocking on every door and offering people help signing up for Obamacare coverage.
Thu, Dec 19 2013