House backs licensing for insurance ‘navigators’

The Louisiana House wants to require licensing of the state’s “navigator” organizations that get grants to help consumers enroll in insurance available under the federal health care law.

House Bill 764 by Republican Rep. Kevin Pearson, of Slidell, to require the licensing and registration with Louisiana’s commissioner of insurance received House passage Tuesday in a 96-0 vote. It moves next to the state Senate for consideration.

Pearson called his proposal a “consumer protection bill.” No one debated the bill.

Navigators are designated by the federal health department.

They help walk people through the complex process of buying insurance, including determining what federal subsidies are available to help cover costs. They must complete a training program and pass an exam to be certified.