The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday announced the availability of $54 million in funding to support navigators in the new health insurance exchanges as part of health reform.

The announcement of grants comes after the administration last week released a proposed rule outlining the standards for navigators who will help consumers shop for health insurance in new exchanges set up under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Navigators are individuals and entities that will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the new health exchanges, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The funding is open to eligible self-employed individuals and private and public entities applying to serve as navigators in states with a federally facilitated or state-partnership exchange. Applications are due by June 7.

To access the funding opportunity announcement, visit and search for CFDA #93.750.

“Navigators will be an important resource for the millions of Americans who are eligible to enroll in new coverage opportunities through the Marketplace starting in October of 2013,” CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement.

Also read: Feds release rules for exchange ‘navigators’