Health Law Critics Raise Privacy Concerns About Navigator Program

Some state attorneys general say the plans for hiring and training navigators don't have enough consumer safeguards.

The Hill: States Raise Privacy Concerns Over Health Law Navigators (Video)
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi argued late Friday that new hires under ObamaCare could threaten the private information of people trying to get health insurance. Bondi said that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making it easier for someone to be hired as a so-called navigator, cutting back on background checks and eliminating a fingerprinting requirement, which could make it easier for a person's private information to fall into the wrong hands (Yager, 8/17).

St. Louis Beacon: Groups Named As Navigators To Help Consumers Through Maze Of Insurance Exchange
A few years ago, Missouri had a surplus of funds for assisting visually impaired people in the state but had difficulty reaching these clients. The state sought the help of the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging, based in Jefferson City. … [Catherine Edwards, executive director of the association] mentions this incident as a reason federal officials might have selected the association as one of two Missouri groups to find and help tens of thousands of Missouri residents sign up for the insurance exchange program, which begins Oct. 1. The Department of Health and Human Services awarded the association $750,000 for exchange work. Slightly more than $1 million was awarded to Primaris Healthcare Business Solutions (Joiner, 8/19).

Kansas City Star/Topeka Capital-Journal: Librarians Aid In Navigating Health Care Changes
Librarians at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library are gearing up to help residents learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace so they can choose the best insurance plan to fit their needs and budget. Lissa Staley, health information specialist at the library, said trained librarians will assist individuals with the Marketplace, which simplifies the search for health coverage by gathering all options in one place and allowing people to compare plans and explore free or low-cost programs for which they may qualify (Biles, 8/17).

Health News Florida: Grants: Who's In, Who's Out
It appears that virtually all counties in the state will receive "navigators" to help their uninsured residents learn how to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act except the one county that needs help most: Miami-Dade (Gentry, 8/16).

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