Thursday, August 08, 2013

Navigators vs Agents: Told Ya So

Earlier this week, we noted the intensive training through which insurance agents will have to go in order to be certified to advise folks regarding (and ultimately selling policies through) the Exchanges. We also noted that this would not necessarily be true of Navigators. Now, I'm all for accountable, well-educated professionals being as knowledgeable as possible about the various ins and outs of these products and the subsidies that may (or may not) help to pay for them.

What is completely ridiculous, though, is that Ms Shecantbeserious and her minions have now "cut back on the number of training hours required for the Obamacare "navigators," federal workers who under the health care law are tasked with helping consumers purchase insurance through the state exchanges."

To be clear, this is not an issue of "fairness" (hey, life ain't fair), it's an issue of accountability. And it's also an issue of gross negligence:

"Grants to hire and train the workers aren't expected to be released for another two weeks ... That leaves just 32 business days to hire and train thousands of helpers in these states."

And I'm sure that the mad rush to cram in as many of them as possible - trained or not, qualified or not, honest or not - won't result in even more confusion and opportunity for identity theft and fraud, not to mention potentially catastrophic results when folks learn that the person on whose advice they relied were grossly under-trained.

But hey, it's only $54 million, right?
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