State lawmakers with an interest in insurance say they want to keep the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) from casting health insurance customers adrift.
Members of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) adopted two resolutions related to PPACA at their recent spring meeting in Washington.
One calls for states to make sure the “navigators” and “assisters” who help individual consumers use the new PPACA health insurance exchanges, or Web-based insurance supermarkets, are qualified to do their jobs.
PPACA defines “navigators” as “ombudsmen” who will help consumers — including low-income consumers who may never have had health coverage — understand how to use the exchanges.
Assisters are supposed to help consumers apply for coverage.
Neither navigators nor assisters are supposed to be recommending specific coverage options or collecting compensation from health insurers.
Regulators at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have argued that PPACA is written in such a way that the navigators cannot be licensed as agents or brokers without violating PPACA.