Heads up Network faithful, a new wrinkle is emerging regarding the role of navigators. A group of House Republicans have sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to express concern that the health law’s navigators will be ill-suited to help consumers sign up for health insurance. The lawmakers also want Sebelius to explain how the administration will ensure that the public knows that navigators aren't licensed or insured against accidental mistakes like agents or brokers. Politics aside (if that is ever possible) the questions raised in the letter are worthy of discussion. Here is a sampling of the questions from the letter:
- How is the Department ensuring that consumers are properly informed that Navigators are not trained and licensed health insurance professionals?
- Will consumers be aware that Navigators are not subjected to the same amount of training and licensing that insurance professionals are?
- In the event of an error or omission by a Navigator, what protections will be put into place to ensure that consumers have an appropriate level of recourse?
All are fair questions (regardless of presumed intent) and serve as an important reminder that regardless of requirements put forth by HHS, training at the local level for Navigators will be of critical importance. Let us know how your community is preparing to train Navigators for their role in ensuring access to insurance for individuals and families.
- Download the letter to Secretary Sebelius here.