The New Hampshire Insurance Department is asking for ideas about how a health insurance exchange Navigator program should work.

The Affordable Care Act, the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), will require states to set up health insurance exchange programs to distribute subsidized individual and small group health coverage, or else face the possibility that the federal government may provide the exchange program.

States are supposed to have plans for programs in place by January 2013 and open the exchange doors by January 2014.

Lawmakers in California recently passed major exchange implementation bills there.

Now the New Hampshire department has posted a Health Benefit Exchange request for comments.

For health insurance agents and brokers, one question has been whether there will be any way for them to participate in the program and get paid for their effort, and whether producers can participate in any way in the Navigator program.

Navigator program participants are supposed to advise consumers and employers how to use the exchange system. The Navigator advice providers are not supposed to receive commissions or other compensation from the carriers.

The New Hampshire department does not address the role of producers in its notice.

The department asks only, “What issues should be considered in establishing a ‘Navigator’ program?”

The department also whether it should open the exchange to employers with 50 or fewer employees, or to employers with 100 or fewer employees, and whether New Hampshire should set up one exchange for all insurance markets or separate exchanges for separate communities, or whether it should consider joining a regional exchange.

In related news, Ceridian Corp., Minneapolis, a human resources, payroll services and benefits services provider, says it has set up a Ceridian Exchange Services unit that will help states create and run health insurance exchange programs.

Bart Valdez will be the president of the unit.