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Ohio governor signs PPACA navigator bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed Ohio Senate Bill 9, a measure that will set training and certification for “navigators.”

Navigators are the advisors who are supposed to help consumers use the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) health insurance exchanges.

PPACA calls for the exchanges to start enrolling individuals and small groups in health plans Oct. 1.

Kasich signed S.B. 9 into law Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor expressed support for the rules. Taylor leads Ohio’s insurance department.

States can set up their own exchanges, turn the job over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or share the job with HHS through a “partnership” arrangement. Ohio is letting HHS provide exchange services for its residents.

Consumer advocates have criticized S.B. 9, saying it will limit the number of navigators available to help people by tying the certification process to those funded by HHS.

HHS has said that it has only $2.2 million in funds available for Ohio navigator applicants.

Taylor says she doesn’t expect the state to contribute additional dollars.

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