Health care reform
In early April, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed rules for “Navigators,” which were created in the health care reform law as resources to help consumers and small businesses sign up for insurance on the public Health Insurance Exchanges.1
Under the health care reform law, the Navigator role is designed to:
The new guidance outlines training, certification, conflict-of-interest and other standards designed to ensure that Navigators provide useful, impartial and easily accessible information and assistance to clients.
According to the proposed rules:
The rules state that "Navigators should not receive any compensation directly or indirectly from health insurance issuers in connection with the enrollment of qualified individuals or employees of a qualified employer, whether that enrollment is in Qualified Health Plans or in non-Qualified Health Plans."3
The public comment period for these proposed rules will last 30 days.
Employers will need to understand the Navigator role and how Navigators can help their business and workers (if applicable) access health coverage on the exchanges. Their brokers will continue to serve as key and trusted benefits advisors.
Brokers will need to continue to stay informed about the evolving role of the Navigator, so they can continue to serve as trusted advisors on key employer issues. Brokers will need to understand how to operate alongside Navigators.