Producers vindicated as House slams navigators

Producers vindicated as House slams navigators | Insurance Business

 Producers vindicated as House slams navigators
After months of feeling ignored in favor of government-funded navigators, producers are finally enjoying their time in the spotlight. They’re also enjoying a bit of sweet vindication as a Republican-led House panel releases a report accusing navigators of committing significant errors and risking privacy.

Navigators, which were appointed in the Affordable Care Act rollout to help consumers enroll in health plans, have been giving enrollees bad information and haven’t done enough to protect privacy, the report said.

“Documents call into question the effectiveness of the Navigator program and the Obama administration’s ability to safeguard consumer information,” the House Oversight Committee concluded.

Will McDonald of Reno-based MacLean Financial Group said producers at his firm felt navigators’ foul-ups had been the “saving grace” for the brokerage.

 “A lot of the people we talk to don’t believe what the government says about healthcare, and they’re turning to the professionals for advice,” McDonald said. “When they turn to us, they get a way better experience. The ones we have been able to help are greatly appreciative for the services we offer.”

Democrats ripped the House report, calling it biased and uninspired, and detracting from issues that deserve real attention.

“This partisan and recycled staff report is another attempt by Republicans to block the Affordable Care Act and impugn the integrity of individuals working diligently to help millions of Americans get quality, affordable healthcare,” Rep. Elijah Cummings told UPI. “The focus of today’s field hearing is on a handful of people who everyone agrees have no place in the navigator program, instead of the much more significant problem that Texas has refused to expand its Medicaid program.”