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Insurance Commissioner Releases Proposed Rules For ACA Navigators In Texas

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Texas Department of Insurance has finalized a list of additional rules federal navigators will have to follow before helping anyone sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act’s website, Healthcare.gov.

The rules come as a response to a letter issued by Gov. Rick Perry that points to privacy and security concerns about the current federal standard for navigators working in Texas to help navigate the Affordable Care Act’s website.

The Texas Department of Insurance’s John Greeley said a large portion of the added standards for Texas navigators have to do with the training.

"The rules propose 40 hours of additional privacy training," Greeley said. "That’s basically Medicaid training on handling sensitive information."

That 40 hours is 200 percent more than what the federal government requires for navigators. The rules also include ongoing criminal background checks, proof of identity and evidence of financial responsibility.

The insurance commissioner used a bill passed by state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, to create additional rule-making for navigators.

"Now that they are proposed, they are available for public comment and we will be listening for all concerns about the proposed rules before they are finally adopted," Greeley said.

Texans can review the new state standards for navigators by visiting the Department of Insurance’s website www.tdi.texas.gov. There will also be a final hearing and vote regarding the issue on Dec. 20.