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MO law requires licenses for health insurance navigators

Last Friday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a piece of legislation placing requirements on state insurance counselors to become licensed in the health exchange, with enrollment starting Oct. 1. 

Developed under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the exchange aids people in finding affordable healthcare coverage. The counselors, who are commonly called navigators, assist people in sorting through the numerous insurance options and identify if the individuals are eligible to receive tax credits. 

With navigators playing an integral role in the health exchange program, The Associated Press reported the new licensing requirement will train Missouri counselors in staying unbiased during the process. 

Yet critics suggest the mandate will hinder the implementation of the health exchange in the state. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, restrictions in the law could violate aspects of the ACA. State Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, is among those who support the bill. Rupp told the news source the legislation came out of provisions provided by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators in an effort to keep the system fair.

“The state has to have some authority over who are the navigators,” Rupp said. “We have to be able to root out any bad apples.”

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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