HHS signaled in a recent regulation that the agency plans to issue rules regarding state laws applicable to health insurance navigators, assisters and certified application counselors under the Affordable Care Act. Seventeen states have passed laws for navigators that go beyond federal rules, according to the Commonwealth Fund.
The Free Library of Philadelphia is among those offering assistance to patrons interested in enrolling in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act. Library coordinator Nani Manion is one of 33 librarians in the Philadelphia Free Library system who have completed training to become certified application counselors, and some libraries have allowed federally certified agents who assist with applications, called navigators, to use library space for ACA information seminars. Millions of people seek health information from libraries each year, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Policyholders, agents and prospects are among the stakeholders that many insurers are focusing on as they increase their portal capabilities, according to a report by Celent. Insurers also are fostering integration with legacy systems by adopting tools for collaboration and workflow management, the report said. "With such an emphasis on user experience within the industry, the burden to produce a quality entry into an insurer's system has become much higher. No longer can a carrier simply put up a minimal amount of content and expect it to gain and/or maintain interest in its various stakeholder groups," the report said.
A study of workers at a major credit card company revealed those who used an internal workplace social network communicated better and were able to find information more quickly and easily, says Paul Leonardi, a professor of communication at Northwestern University. Younger employees were more concerned about using the tool for fear of their boss seeing their posts, while older workers saw it as another technology tool, he says.
Exchange navigators are tasked with helping consumers understand how the marketplaces work and guiding them through the process of enrollment but are not allowed to influence consumers on their choice of plans. Navigators will undergo a 30-hour online training program and an HHS-approved exam before getting certification.