The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that will provide authority to the State of Ohio in regulating Navigators which are an important piece of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

House Bill 613 makes changes to the Ohio Revised Code, specifically regarding the licensing and education requirements for insurance agents that wish to serve as a navigator, as well as the manner in which the state will regulate navigators under the federal healthcare law.

“House Bill 613 is the first step in declaring State authority as it relates to navigators and the exchange, and it is the only step we should take at this time,” said Representative Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Township), who sponsored the legislation. “Having limited direction from the federal government, it is important that we focus on giving navigators and insurance agents adequate information on the known requirements so they can effectively perform their duties. I would expect that we will see a great deal of activity around the navigator’s role in the first quarter of 2013.”

Navigators are individuals or entities charged with helping citizens obtain information relating to health insurance offerings through health care exchanges. HB 613 specifies that navigators are not licensed insurance agents and, therefore, are prohibited from engaging in selling insurance and related functions. Additionally, the bill enables both licensed and unlicensed insurance agents to be certified as a navigator.

The bill will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


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