MN health insurance exchange takes steps forward
May 9, 2013
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May 30, 2013
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NE lawmakers agree on health exchange oversight

Last Thursday, Nebraska lawmakers came to an agreement on which elements of the state’s benefits exchange local navigators will oversee.

While Nebraska opted to let the federal government create and operate its insurance marketplace, the state is among seven that have received approval from the Department of Health and Human Services to take the reigns on some plan management responsibilities.

Under the terms of the recent compromise, the Nebraska Department of Insurance will register and regulate navigators, who are employed by the state to help educate residents about the exchange and other elements of healthcare reform, Omaha World-Herald stated.

The agreement comes nearly a month after legislators advanced a bill to let Nebraska representatives – small-business owners, residents and health industry professionals – offer the federal government health reform implementation suggestions, according to The Associated Press.

Sen. Burke Harr recently proposed a bill that would require navigators undergo training and background checks, as well as obtain certain educational qualifications. In addition, candidates would have to pay a $50 licensure fee and face up to $1,000 in penalties for misconduct or rule breaking.

“These navigators need to be fair, impartial and appropriately trained,” Burke said, according to World-Herald. “We want to make sure the population they’re working with is protected.”

Opponents however say the federal government already has job must-haves in place for navigators, and imposing extra requirements would discourage people from applying.

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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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