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PIA Lobbies NAIC Regarding Proposed HHS Navigator Rules

On April 3, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule on Navigator and non-Navigator assistance personnel...
April 10, 2013

On April 3, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule on Navigator and non-Navigator assistance personnel. The same day, PIA delivered a letter to NAIC Producer Licensing Task Force Chair Roger Sevigny (NH) and Vice Chair Kenneth Kobylowski (NJ) urging the NAIC to recommend that states require rigorous licensing of navigators as they implement any finalized HHS rules.

In PIA’s letter, which was hand-delivered to Sevigny and Kobylowski on April 3 during the NAIC spring meetings in Houston, PIA National Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Affairs David Eppstein, Esq. said navigators should be subject to background checks and prohibited from selling, soliciting or negotiating insurance. PIA also recommended that the current agent and broker community be utilized by states and the federal government.

“As both the states and federal government establish navigator parameters, PIA encourages utilization of the current agent and broker community,” the PIA letter states. “Agents and brokers are licensed, regulated, experienced professionals that educate consumers on complex products and enroll them in policies that best fit their personal needs. Agents and brokers have a deep familiarity with insurance markets and products; they service plans throughout the year, assist with renewals and are held to strict compliance standards. Agents and brokers must meet continuing education requirements in order to maintain their licenses. In addition, they are required to maintain continuous professional liability insurance coverage in order to protect consumers.”

You can read PIA’s complete recommendations here.

PIA also sent to PIA National leaders and State/Regional affiliates an update on the newly-released proposed Navigator rules, noting that Page 25 of the proposals provides some clarity on one of PIA’s legislative and regulatory priorities, agent compensation. It confirms that agents and brokers can act as Navigators in federally-facilitated exchanges (FFEs) but not receive consideration directly or indirectly from an issuer. However, it notes that “agents and brokers who sell other lines of insurance would not be prohibited from receiving consideration from the sale of those other lines of insurance while serving as Navigators, provided they complied with the [new] disclosure requirement.” PIA has been engaged in ongoing private meetings with HHS officials to press our views on agent compensation.

You can read PIA’s full update on the proposed HHS rules.here. A full text of the rules proposals is available.here.

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