The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Wednesday (April 2) in Hearing Room 1 of the State Capitol North Office Building, Harrisburg, to collect testimony on Senate Bill 1268, legislation regarding Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) Healthcare Exchange Navigators and other related entities such as Certified Application Counselors (CACs).
SB 1268, introduced by Senator John Eichelberger, would require navigators to apply for and obtain certification from the Department of Insurance, and to pass a criminal background check. Additionally, the bill would require training on the specific differences between the appropriate responsibilities of navigators, as opposed to persons licensed to sell and advise on insurance. Further, training would have to include education on Pennsylvania’s privacy laws in addition to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
“I have been interested in legislation to regulate navigators for a while,” said Senator Don White, Banking and Insurance Committee Chairman. “Federal law places very few requirements on Navigators and I think it is important for Pennsylvania to explore options that will protect consumers in the Health Exchange Marketplace.”
According to Senator White, federal law does not require Navigators or Certified Application Counselors to obtain a criminal background check even though they have access to enrollee’s personal information. This lack of oversight has already led to convicted felons working as Navigators in other states.