The Exchanges Subgroup at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has approved a draft white paper that compares the roles navigators and producers might play in a new system of health insurance exchanges.

The subgroup made the decision recently during a conference call.

If the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) takes effect as written, it will create a system of state-supervised health insurance distribution exchanges that will help individuals and small groups buy health coverage.

PPACA also is supposed to create a new system of navigators, who are supposed PPACA Compassto be completely independent from health insurers, to help individuals buy coverage.

Health insurance agents and brokers have argued that the PPACA navigator program provisions appears to shut them out, even though they are the ones who understand how the health insurance system really works and have licenses and errors and omissions coverage to back up their advice.

The individuals who receive funding from the NAIC to represent consumer interests in NAIC proceedings recently argued that insurance producers would have to be separate from producers but could get paid to help consumers directly by the health insurance exchanges.

The NAIC Exchanges Subgroup has been developing a collection of white paper drafts giving state insurance regulators’ thoughts on how the exchange system might work.

Members of the Exchanges Subgroup approved the products and navigators white paper draft after agreeing on the need to make some revisions to emphasize the need to have both navigators and producers in the exchange system.

The NAIC’s Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee will consider the white paper draft in June, officials say.

The subgroup is continuing to work on an exchange governance white paper draft, an adverse selection issues draft, and a financing draft.

Other Exchanges Subgroup coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: