Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pam Bondi's Willful Ignorance on Navigators and SB 1842

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi went on Fox and Friends and gave false information about Obamacare.

"Now we have navigators coming into our state and they're not doing background checks, they're not doing fingerprints," she said this morning. "Census takers have better background checks than the navigators."

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty reminded the Florida Cabinet, which Bondi is a member of, that SB 1842 requires navigators to be registered and fingerprinting.

"In Florida, the Legislature has healed those gaps in the federal program by passing Senate Bill 1842, whcih requires navigators to be registered," McCarty said. "The registration process is set up much like agent licensing, except the federal government provides the training. Senate Bill 1842 requires fingerprinting and gives authority to the state to revoke a navigator's registration."

Bondi had other complaints about the navigators program.

"This is a consumer protection issue. This is an identity theft issue," said Bondi, who sent a letter on Aug. 14 along with 12 other state attorneys general asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the privacy concerns. They asked for a response by Aug. 28.

As Attorney General, Bondi is sworn to uphold SB 1842. Bondi has never been accused of being a policy wonk. Bondi should start learning policy ASAP. SB 1842 has cunsumor protection written into the bill.

Authorizes the Division of Consumer Services within the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to respond to complaints by consumers relating to requirements of PPACA, by performing its current statutory responsibilities to prepare and disseminate information to consumers as it deems appropriate, provide direct assistance and advocacy to consumers, and require insurers to respond, in writing, to a complaint, and further authorizes the division to report apparent or potential violations to OIR and to HHS.

Temporarily suspends, for 2014 and 2015, the requirement that health insurers and HMOs (insurers) obtain approval from OIR for nongrandfathered health plans which, generally, are plans under which an individual was insured on March 23, 2010, and for which rates must be filed with HHS. Insurers will still be required to file rates and rate changes for such plans with OIR prior to use, but such rates may be used without OIR approval. For this 2-year period, the rates for nongrandfathered plans would be exempt from all rating requirements. These rating law changes are repealed on March 1, 2015. Under PPACA, insurers must file rate changes with HHS for nongrandfathered health plans, subject to review and determination of whether the rate increase is unreasonable. Grandfathered health plans are not subject to PPACA rate filing requirements and remain subject to the current Florida law requirements for filing rates for approval with OIR.

Requires insurers to provide a notice to individual and small group policyholders of nongrandfathered health plans that describes or illustrates the estimated impact of PPACA on monthly premiums. This notice is required one time, when the policy is issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2014. The notice must be in a format established by rule by the Financial Services Commission. The OIR and DFS must develop a summary of the estimated impact of PPACA on monthly premiums as contained in the notices, which must be available on their respective websites by October 1, 2013. Requires individuals acting as a “navigator” under PPACA to be registered with DFS, beginning August 1, 2013. Under PPACA, beginning on October 1, 2013, individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase private health insurance through Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges). Exchanges must certify qualified health plans (QHPs) offered by insurers through the Exchange. PPACA directs Exchanges to award grants to “navigators” that will facilitate enrollment in QHPs and exercise certain other duties.

To be registered as a navigator under the bill, an individual must certify completion of federally-required training, submit fingerprints for a criminal background check, and pay a $50 application fee (currently, there is a $50.30 fingerprint processing fee for agents, so the total cost for a navigator would be $100.30). Certain crimes would either permanently bar an individual from registration or disqualify an applicant for specified periods. A navigator will be prohibited from:

Recommending the purchase of a particular health plan or represent that one health plan is preferable over any other;

Recommending or assisting with the cancellation of insurance coverage purchased outside the Exchange;

Receiving compensation or anything of value from an insurer, health plan, business, or consumer in connection with performing activities as a navigator, other than from the Exchange or an entity or individual who has received a navigator grant under the PPACA.

Bondi either is spreading false information about Obamacare or has no reading comprehension skills

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