Florida Officials Express Concern About PPACA Navigators

Florida officials voiced concerns this week about whether health insurance exchange navigators will get adequate background checks and training, according to a Health News Florida report.

Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and the state's CFO Jeff Atwater all expressed doubts about the navigators — trained professionals who will help consumers learn about and apply for coverage through the exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The state's insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, also said he didn't think the navigators would be properly prepared after the 20 hours of required training and has recommended that consumers get help from licensed insurance agents instead, according to the report.

Organizations that will serve as navigators in Florida have dismissed these concerns. There's no danger of navigators stealing consumers' identities, Greg Mellowe, policy director for the consumer group Florida CHAIN, told Health News Florida. Mr. Mellowe's nonprofit group has received a federal grant to participate in the navigator program, according to the report.

Last week, HHS announced $67 million in grants awarded to 105 state and federal insurance marketplace navigator organizations. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently told USA TODAY the navigators will protect privacy and prevent fraud when the new exchanges open for business.

More Articles on Insurance Exchange Navigators:
HHS, Navigators Will Ensure Privacy Under PPACA, Sebelius Says
HHS Awards $67M in Marketplace Navigator Grants
State Navigator Laws Could Harm Consumers, Experts Say

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