Health care advocates welcome state regulations for ACA marketplace navigators

Jul 26, 2013

Credit Alan Cleaver / flickr

The Department of Insurance has issued an emergency rule for licensing people who will help Missouri residents explore their insurance options in the new health marketplace. The federal government is regulating these helpers, also called navigators. A bill signed by Gov. Jay Nixon earlier this month added state regulations for the navigators.

Some health policy experts were initially concerned the rules would add redundant burden for people or organizations looking to be navigators. But the department's proposed rules, unveiled Thursday, are easing up some of these concerns. 

Jen Bersdale is executive director of the health advocacy group Missouri Health Care for All. She says the proposed rules should be encouraging for potential navigators. Bersdale notes that the department’s ruling finds the federal training and certification sufficient and doesn’t require people to take another state-based exam.

“Which prevents people from having to go through additional, unnecessary hoops,” Bersdale said. “So it’s things like that that we think will hopefully keep it realistic for everyone to participate in enrollment efforts.”

State navigator licensing fees will cost $25 for an individual and $50 for an organization.