The controversy over PPACA has spilled into the retail level.
Carriers and consumer groups now are fighting over federal regulation of customer service reps. The debate includes federal standards for Web-based brokers, health fair booth staffers and others who might try to help consumers understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchange system.
Representatives shared their thoughts in comments on draft PPACA regulations the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released in June.
Anthony Mader of WellPoint Inc. welcomed a provision in the draft regs that describes how carrier customer service reps can help consumers enroll directly through a state’s exchange program.
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Mader said CMS should be clearer about training and other standards for the doctors, nurses and others who will talk to consumers about PPACA at public forums.
“The community-based forums are incredibly important sources of information for many consumers,” Mader said.
Steven Kelmar, an Aetna Inc. executive, said his company likes the idea that carrier reps can help consumers but hopes the exchange website will be the primary enrollment mechanism.