There are about 32,000 North Dakotans under the age of 65 who don’t have health insurance.
The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State has recently been awarded nearly a million dollars to carry out the Navigator Project.
It is a co-op agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services CMS to help North Dakotans learn about health insurance.
Cheryl Coyle is the Director of the state’s Navigator Project.
She said health insurance is important because of the unknowns of life.
“Health care coverage is such a big deal for each and every person. We never know what’s going to happen to us from day to day.”
Navigators will work one on one with the uninsured to help them find the coverage they need.
These people will be federally trained and have to pass criminal background checks.
She said another reason this program is needed, is because health care is expensive but necessary.
“If you don’t have adequate health care coverage, you always have this feeling in the back of your head, of what if something would happen and I have these huge bills that I can’t pay,” said Coyle.
Coyle said the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities has a strong connection to the Navigator Project.
“One of the larger groups of people who do not have adequate insurance are those people who have disabilities and their families.”
Navigators help people at no charge.
Coyle said it feels great to be able to offer these services.
“It really is a good feeling to be able to help people have a sense of comfort and just knowing that they’re covered if they need to be.,” said Coyle.
Navigators will be working year-round to provide knowledge about health insurance.