As we near the October 1 implementation date of ObamaCare, it is becoming increasingly clear that the federal government isn’t prepared. Late last week, HHS quietly reduced by one-third the number of hours of training required for “navigators,” individuals tasked with helping the public enroll in the program. The decision to cut training adds to already existing questions about how effective the “navigators” can be.
“Navigators” are federally funded community activists who are supposed to help the public navigate the insurance exchanges and apply for any qualified subsidies. By design, individual navigators can have no ties with the health insurance industry, raising the question of how well they can help individuals select the best coverage option.
Originally, HHS required navigators to undergo 30 hours of training. That requirement has been reduced now to just 20 hours of training. Even the original requirement seemed insufficient to understand such a complex program.
With less than two months until the health exchanges are supposed to open, more problems are coming to light. Expect more decisions like the cut in training over the coming weeks.