House backs licensing of insurance navigators

The Louisiana House on Wednesday endorsed legislation designed to help Louisiana residents get good advice as they make health insurance decisions under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal law commonly called Obamacare.

The House voted 97-0 for the legislation that provides for the licensing and regulation of “navigators” by the state Department of Insurance.

“We want to make sure that they are properly educated and doing business in compliance with regulations,” said state Rep. Mike Huval, R-Breaux Bridge.

Huval said the federal government has allocated $1.3 million to pay the individuals or companies to assist residents “figure out what policy they want to purchase” offered through a health insurance exchange.

The contract will be awarded by the federal government through a competitive bid, he said.

House Bill 614 now heads to the state Senate for debate.