Health insurance navigators in Texas may be required to complete 40 hours of training over the extensive instruction they receive from the federal government. Governor Rick Perry has ordered the state’s Department of Insurance to ensure that navigators receive a minimum of 40 hours of training in order to better serve Texans looking for coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange. Federal health care officials claim, however, that the measure is simply creating more barriers for the implementation of the state’s exchange and the Affordable Care Act.
Health insurance navigators are a part of the federal health care law. These navigators are meant to help consumers throughout the country find the best insurance policies that fit their needs through state-based exchanges. Navigators are only allowed to be hired through non-profit organizations and have no direct affiliation with any insurance company. These people are also funded by the federal government, which provides the necessary funds to the non-profit groups that hire navigators.
The Texas health insurance exchange is expected to expand access of affordable coverage to thousands of people that currently lack appropriate health insurance protection. State lawmakers have been relatively resistant to the concept of the exchange as well as the Affordable Care Act as a whole. Federal officials are accusing the Perry administration of intentionally placing roadblocks that could delay the implementation of federal law in the state. Governor Perry, however, claims that more training will simply make health insurance navigators better at their jobs and more acclimated to the specific needs of the Texan market.
Controversy over federal law threatens government shutdown
The controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act has reached a problematic point. The federal law, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012, has created so much turmoil that the federal government is on the verge of shutting down. Opponents of the law are demanding that its enactment be delayed for one year. If these demands are not met, these federal lawmakers are threatening not to take action on federal funding legislation.