July 26, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

'Navigators' of State Health Insurance Exchanges Prepare to Help Applicants

There is no firm requirement for fluency in other languages. But the helpers are supposed to know about the cultures in their states and provide information to consumers in their preferred language, either verbally or by translation when necessary. HHS says in proposed rules that interpretation available by telephone may be used, or a family member might be relied on to help. Applicants will be asked about their experiences in working with people with limited English proficiency. There will be a call center and a language line that can arrange to provide answers in more than 150 languages, officials have said.

People who donít have insurance through their jobs often sign up now through insurance agents. Will that change? Will they be required to use a navigator instead?

Insurance agents and brokers who are continuing to actively sell health insurance cannot be navigators or assisters. However, once consumers have been told they are eligible for a tax credit and are ready to pick a plan, the agent can help them select insurance coverage as long as they abide by certain federal and state rules. But agents canít provide any financial incentives to steer people into particular plans. No one will be required to use a navigator.

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