Missouri Law Restricts Help with Affordable Care Act

2 years ago October 10, 2013 Oct 10, 2013 Thursday, October 10 2013 Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:48:08 AM CDT in News
By: Taylor Barth, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians are in the process of signing up for health care insurance through the President's Health Care Act, but a Missouri law restricts the help they can receive in the process. 

The President's new Health Care Act requires states to have federally contracted one-on-one counselors to give assistance, educate and reach out to those signing up for coverage. These counselors are called navigators.

The only federal requirement for a person to become a certified navigator is to take a 20-hour course online. In Missouri, however, there are tougher requirements a person must go through. Governor Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 262 in July. The law requires all potential navigators to not only obtain a federal certification, but also receive a state license. In order to receive a state license, navigators must pass an exam and pay a licensing fee up to 50 dollars.

The law also restricts navigators from offering any advice to insurance shoppers. They are only allowed to give information about coverage options, rather than suggest what plans might be best for a person. Missouri is one of eight states to enforce these rules.

Jay Angoff is an attorney in Washington D.C. and represents health care interests of the White House. He's a former Missouri insurance commissioner and was directly involved in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Angoff said the Missouri law handcuffs the help that navigators can offer. 

"Approximately a dozen states have enacted legislation that establishes burdensome requirements that effectively prevent many of the organizations designated in the statute from being navigators, and prevents navigators from carrying out the duties the Affordable Care Act requires them to carry out even if they overcome these burdens," Angoff said.

Missouri Republican Party Director of Communications, Matt Wills, thinks Missouri legal restrictions help consumers.

"I think the perspective is there that my privacy is being protected, I'm, as a person, being put first and foremost here, and not just being another number in another insurance company," Wills said. "I think that anytime that people are put ahead of bureaucracy, that's a good thing. I think this is a step in the right direction as to understanding that people come first."

The two main organizations in mid-Missouri that offer navigator services are Primaris and the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging. 

"We're asking people if they are finished with the federal training, reach out to your local community organizations, local non-profits, and see if you can schedule an education event," said Primaris Navigator Program Manager Jeremy Milarsky. "Most people have a lot of questions about this new law, and we're here to help with that."

There is no cost for a counsel session and navigators are prohibited from charging the public for their services. Milarsky said Primaris hasn't been extremely busy so far, and that might be due to the glitches on the federal website. He suggests consumers wait a while to sign up for insurance in order to avoid any issues.

"It's important to realize that this is a marathon, not a sprint and the open enrollment period is a six month period," said Milarsky. "We can help answer questions, we can explain the Affordable Care Act to people. We can explain how to work with the marketplace."

For a list of specific state requirements to become a navigator, visit the Missouri Department of Insurance's website. 

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY – 21-year-old Harley Walls was arrested in St. Peters when he was located in possession of one vehicle... More >>
13 minutes ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 4:53:32 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Two proposals aimed at requiring Missourians to show photo ID before voting are heading to the... More >>
44 minutes ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 4:22:37 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSM) held its first time event last Monday to address Thomas Hart... More >>
1 week ago January 29, 2016 Jan 29, 2016 Friday, January 29 2016 Friday, January 29, 2016 7:20:03 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The downtown community improvement district (CID) is ready to start the first phase of The Gateways project. ... More >>
1 hour ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 3:32:43 PM CST in Continuous News
FERGUSON (AP) — New estimates show Ferguson's cost of implementing reforms spelled out in a consent agreement with the U.S.... More >>
1 hour ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 3:27:45 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - In a letter to faculty and staff on Monday, MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said Daniel Clay, dean... More >>
1 hour ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 3:23:30 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERS ON CITY (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker is pushing for a program that would track prescription drugs and let... More >>
1 hour ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 3:12:32 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – Morgan Keegan will pay $850,000 for Mamtek securities fraud. Secretary of State Jason Kander announced on... More >>
2 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 2:55:09 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department announced Monday they identified a body found near the Highway 63 and I-70 interchange... More >>
3 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 1:29:00 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Middle schoolers beginning of the year math proficiency scores dropped for the second year in a row, according... More >>
3 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 1:17:30 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – High blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension, is a widely misunderstood medical condition. Some people think... More >>
6 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 10:09:29 AM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 24-year-old man who was struck and killed on Interstate 44 last... More >>
5 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 11:24:34 AM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Nifong Medical Plaza opened its doors for the first time Monday in south Columbia. The... More >>
2 days ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 6:31:07 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Federal agents in St. Louis say security cameras helped lead to the arrest of a serial... More >>
9 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 7:23:36 AM CST in Continuous News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities are investigating a fatal shooting in southwest Missouri. Police said in a news release... More >>
9 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 7:18:42 AM CST in Continuous News
KIRKWOOD (AP) — A Rock Hill police officer has been taken to a hospital after being struck by a vehicle.... More >>
9 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 7:15:55 AM CST in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 29-year-old man accused in the January shooting death of another man in Kansas City has... More >>
11 hours ago February 08, 2016 Feb 8, 2016 Monday, February 08 2016 Monday, February 08, 2016 5:20:17 AM CST in Continuous News
FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested a man early Sunday morning after actively seeking him for two warrants... More >>
21 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 7:25:50 PM CST in Continuous News
Interactive Radar Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 25°
6pm 24°
7pm 25°
8pm 26°
9pm 26°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00 pm
Dr. Phil
5:00 pm
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30 pm
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30 pm
The Cleveland Show
5:00 pm
American Dad!
5:30 pm
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pm
Superstore
7:30 pm
Telenovela
8:00 pm
The Biggest Loser
7:00 pm
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
8:00 pm
Jane the Virgin
9:00 pm
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30 pm
Seinfeld