Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm from the Government and I'll take you to the New World. Trust Me. Uh, do you happen to have a map?

In Connecticut, "Navigators" have been designated in each county -  after a nominally competitive bidding process - to manage "assisters" in the county who will actually be responsible for helping people enroll in Obamacare.  Connecticut is operating its own Exchange.   More info here

Here is Connecticut's definition of "Navigators"
The following organizations can qualify as Navigators:

• Community and consumer¬focused nonprofit groups
• Trade, industry and professional associations
• Unions
• Resource partners of the Small Business Administration
• Indian tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations
• Other public or private entities that meet Navigator requirements
The following organizations cannot be Navigators:

• Health insurance issuers
• Subsidiaries of health insurance issuers
• Associations that include members of the insurance industry or that lobby on behalf of the insurance industry
Actual advice to real people will be doled out by the "Assisters".  Connecticut promises this:
Assisters are individuals in your community – they work at nonprofits, small businesses, faith-based and other community organizations . . .  Assisters will be:

• Certified with training in the Affordable Care Act, Access Health CT, providing appropriate support based on language and culture, and more
• Trusted community members who have undergone thorough background checks
• Ready to help individuals, families and small businesses during the initial enrollment period (October 1, 2013-March 31, 2014)
Assisters apparently cannot be licensed insurance agents unless they happen to work for one of the specified community organizations.  So it appears Connecticut is not allowing anyone to become either a Navigator or an Assister who might actually, you know, have expert insurance knowledge but instead intends to employ people who must learn everything they need to know about Obamacare in what? - 30 days?  But - don't worry! - they will all be "certified" and "trusted" and they will all have undergone "thorough background checks."   All information they give you will be "based on language and culture".  Oh,  "and more".

Well, what can possibly go wrong?
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