Our state is aggressively setting up our Health Insurance Exchange. At this point it looks like the Exchange will be the primary place for individuals and groups of fewer than 50 to purchase health insurance. The market outside the Exchange may be limited to the same or fewer options that are contained in the exchange.
Navigators will assist people in finding health insurance coverage within the Exchange. Agents/Producers may be considered navigators along with anyone else who wants to be one. Navigators are paid with a federal grant – we don’t know how long the grant will be in effect. Navigators do not need to be licensed or carry errors and omissions insurance. If a navigator makes a mistake, there is no recourse for the client.
Who do we want giving us insurance advice – licensed professionals that are required to have insurance for errors and omissions or an individual that is immune to any recourse if a mistake is made? Do we want an industry professional whose lively hood is dependent on a broad background of understanding the insurance market or someone who most likely has another profession and may or may not be committed to completely understanding the ins and outs of a complex market place?
Seriously – who would you choose?