A company that helps states administer Medicaid programs says it thinks navigators may have only a temporary role in the new health insurance exchange system.
David Casey, a senior vice president at MAXIMUS Inc., Reston, Va., makes that case in a comment letter submitted to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo.
The Exchanges Subgroup at the NAIC plans to hold a teleconference Thursday to consider a collection of white papers it is developing.
The white papers cover the health insurance exchange provision, navigators provision and related provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
PPACA opponents are trying to block implementation of part or all of the act.
If the act takes effect as written, state-supervised health insurance exchanges will help low-income and moderate-income individuals use federal tax credits to buy health insurance through a one-stop shopping process.
The exchanges will also sell coverage to small employers.
PPACA calls for navigators – individuals or entities that would not be compensated by insurers – to help individuals use the exchange system.
Drafters of an NAIC white paper concerning the role of navigators and insurance producers in an exchange system seem to assume that navigators will be a permanent part of the exchange system, Casey writes in the MAXIMUS comment letter.
“The white paper discusses the creation of a significant infrastructure that exchanges must establish and maintain such as training, continuing education and licensing,” Casey says. “An approved training program and oversight is needed for sure – but licensing may be over-burdening the system.”
Some policymakers seem to think that navigators will participate in the system for only a short period, Casey says.
PPACA implies that the navigator program will be short-lived because initial funding will be provided in the