Health Affairs: Implementing Health Reform--Court Blocks Missouri Restrictions On ACA Navigators

By Timothy Jost

In a major victory for the ACA, on January 23, 2014, Judge Ortie Smith of the federal court for the Western District of Missouri enjoined the Missouri Department of Insurance from enforcing a Missouri law that requires federal navigators, certified application counselors (CACs), and counselor-designated organizations to obtain a state license and limits their activities.

State laws imposing licensure requirements on navigators and CACs and restricting their activities have been enacted by at least seventeen states. The enactment of these laws, almost all of which have been adopted by Republican-dominated states, appear to be driven by a combination of concern for consumer protection, political opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and lobbying by agent and broker groups trying to protect their turf from competition. The laws require navigators and other counselors and assisters authorized under the auspices of the ACA to obtain state licenses, impose licensure obligations beyond those imposed by federal law, and limit what navigators and assisters can say to consumers whom they are assisting.  Read the full article here »






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