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Application Organizations – Requirements

A quick guide to Application Organizations (AO) and Certified Application Counselor Designated Organizations (CDO) and the requirements.

What is an Application Organization?
An Application Organization (AO) is an organization that has employees or volunteers helping consumers in completing applications on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov or Indiana Health Coverage Program applications (such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0)), which may be accessed online at dfrbenefits.in.gov.

An organization meeting the definition of “application organization” under IC 27-19-2-3 and 760 IAC 4-2-1, and that is not under any exclusions, must be registered as an AO with the Indiana Department of Insurance. Once registered as an AO, the AO must follow all reporting requirements with the IDOI and complete the annual renewal process.
To learn how to become an Application Organization click here

What is a Navigator?
Indiana Navigators are individuals who assist consumers in completing federal Health Insurance Marketplace applications at HealthCare.gov or Indiana Health Coverage Program applications (such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0)), which may be accessed online at dfrbenefits.in.gov.

An individual that meets the definition of “navigator” under IC 27-19-2-12 and 760 IAC 4-2-1, and that is not under any exclusions, must become certified as an Indiana Navigator with the Indiana Department of Insurance. An Indiana Navigator may be associated with an Application Organization (AO), but does not have to be in order to serve as an Indiana Navigator. Once certified as an Indiana Navigator, the Indiana Navigator must follow all reporting requirements with the IDOI and complete the annual renewal process.
To learn how to become an Indiana Navigator click here

What is a Federal Navigator?
The Federally-Facilitated Health Insurance Exchange Navigator Program
Navigators help consumers prepare applications to establish eligibility and enroll in coverage through the Exchanges and potentially qualify for insurance affordability programs. They also provide outreach and education to raise awareness about the Exchanges. Navigators are funded through federal grants and must complete comprehensive federal Navigator training, criminal background checks, and state training and registration (when applicable), prior to assisting consumers.  
To learn how to become a Federal Navigator click here

What is a CDO?
Certified Application Counselor Designated Organizations (CDOs) are a vital component of the assister community. In the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs), CDOs oversee Certified Application Counselors (CACs) who are trained and able to help consumers seeking health insurance coverage options through an FFM.
Organizations that wish to become CDOs designated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to serve in an FFM must submit an online application and enter into an agreement with CMS. 
To learn how to become a CDO click here

What is a CAC?
A CAC is an individual staff member or volunteer who is certified by a CAC designated organization (CDO) and who is trained and able to help consumers as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including helping them complete the Marketplace eligibility and enrollment process.
To learn how to become a CAC click here

When and how do you use each certification?
• A state Navigator assists consumers with Medicaid applications. 
• A CAC assists consumers with Marketplace.
• A Federal Navigator assists with Marketplace.  You must be awarded this designation and obtain additional certification.  This designation also utilizes their Federal Navigator License Number in lieu of their CAC number. 

To view IDOI Navigator FAQ please click here

To view Indiana Administrative Code please click here

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