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State Mandates Licensure for Insurance Counselors

Posted: Jul 17, 2013 9:49 AM by The Associated Press

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JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A new Missouri law will require insurance counselors to get state licenses before they can help people search for health plans on an online marketplace.

The legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon imposes state requirements on so-called navigators, who can receive federal grants to guide consumers through the coverage options on a health insurance exchange.

Enrollment is to begin Oct. 1 through the exchanges, which were created under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Some advocates for the uninsured tell the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Missouri's licensure requirement could be difficult to meet by October. They say the law also could make it harder for navigators to do their jobs by barring them from recommending specific health plans.

But insurance agents say it will keep out unscrupulous counselors.

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