One of my big concerns about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that passed in March was the creation of “Navigators” to help people find health insurance. These Navigators were not required to be licensed to sell insurance or have any real extensive training. A Navigator could be an Union employee or an employee of your local Chamber of Commerce. My fear was that employers and individuals trying to make decisions on their best choice of insurance would not get sound advice from a highly trained, licensed insurance broker & counsellor.
I’m pleased to report that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has passed a resolution which defines and recognizes brokers’ roles in the health care industry, as the insurance consumer’s “Trusted Advisor.”
As a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the role of the health insurance Navigator was created in order to communicate health plan enrollment information and provide referrals to insurance consumers. These individuals differ from brokers in that they are not licensed and do not receive the required continuing education to maintain these licenses, as is required of insurance brokers & advisors. This additional role led to the concern that unlicensed Navigators would be performing part of the traditional responsibility of the licensed broker.
Therefore, a resolution was passed on August 17, 2010 to limit the role of Navigators and ensure that our responsibilities as brokers remains upheld. Through the passing of this resolution early this week, Navigators will be limited to directing insurance consumers to licensed brokers and government agencies, thus allowing brokers to maintain their current role in the health care industry.
What this means to you is that you will always have a licensed professional who is there to give you sound, objective advice and help you make wise choices for your insurance protection.