Husbands in Houston can help their wives, parents and grandparents use the public exchange without any special training.
But people in Dallas who want to help their great-great-grandparents – or first cousins, great aunts or fellow Masonic lodge members – tackle HealthCare.gov might need to get 20 hours of training and endure a background check.
Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber talks about who must get and who need not go through a formal navigation registration process in the state’s new final regulations for navigators.
Rathgeber developed the regulations to implement a Texas law created by state Senate Bill 1795.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act navigator program is supposed to provide a temporary, independent source of help for new exchange users.
Critics say PPACA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have skimped on navigator standards.
The HHS standards apply only to navigators getting federal navigator grant money, and even the standards for the grant recipients are hidden inside navigator contracts, Rathgeber writes in a justification of the Texas regulations.