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Texas department eyes navigator standards

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — State insurance regulators are delving into Gov. Rick Perry’s order that navigators who will help Texans purchase coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) receive more training.

The Texas Department of Insurance on Monday is scheduled to hold a stakeholder meeting in Austin. It comes after Perry directed the agency earlier this month to make sure navigators complete 40 hours of training in addition to their federal instruction.

In the past, federal officials have often supported state efforts to impose tougher training and licensing requirements on agents, brokers and others who help consumers with their finances around.

This time around, federal health officials are accusing Texas of throwing up more obstacles to the rollout of PPACA.

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Aides to Perry have defended the directive as a common-sense safeguard.

The exchange program is supposed to start taking applications for 2014 coverage Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a partial federal government shutdown is looming over congressional Republicans demanding a one-year delay of Obamacare before passing a routine federal funding bill.

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