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Obamacare navigators pull out of Florida, return federal funds

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Cardon Outreach is now pulling out as Affordable Care Act navigators because of the increased regulatory scrutiny state officials are giving the program. The organization announced it will return the $800,000 in federal funds paid them.

“The emerging state and federal regulatory scrutiny surrounding the Navigator program requires us to allocate resources which we cannot spare and will distract us from fulfilling our obligations to our clients,” Cardon Outreach officials explained in an email to federal officials, according to MediaTrackers. http://mediatrackers.org/florida/2013/09/16/obamacare-navigator-florida-pulls-program

Concerned that inadequately screened and untrained federal Obamacare navigators will have access to personal health and financial information, Florida is among more than a dozen states imposing licensing requirements.

According to Watchdog.org, Florida’s requirements include these restrictions: https://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/09/13/states-regulate-obamacare-navigators-liberal-media-attacks-83251

Applicants must also submit to fingerprinting and background checks, standard for equivalent state-level jobs involving sensitive health and financial consumer information. Convicted felons are barred from becoming navigators.

Navigators are required to complete federally defined training programs that were recently dropped to only 20 hours.

Finally, navigators can only assist those looking to sign up for insurance. They cannot solicit, negotiate or sell insurance unless they have a standard license to do so. They cannot receive payment from an interested third party.

Navigators will also be prohibited from operating at county health departments in Florida.

Cardon Outreach, which currently signs Floridians up for Medicaid, is far less controversial than some groups serving as navigators, including Planned Parenthood, MediaTrackers reported.

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