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It's Official: Texas OKs Extra Rules, Training for Obamacare Navigators

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Veronica Zaragovia, KUT
Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber listened to testimony at a public hearing on proposed rules for health insurance navigators in Austin on Dec. 20, 2013.

Texas now has extra requirements for Affordable Care Act navigators who help consumers find their way around the federally-run health insurance marketplace. 

Beginning at the end of 2013 and lasting through early January, the Texas Department of Insurance listened to public testimony and received more than 300 pages of written comments on the proposed rules.

Now, TDI has made those rules official. Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber says the rules address gaps in the federal training requirement for navigators.

"These rules will give Texans confidence that navigators have passed background checks and received the training they need to safeguard consumers’ personal information," she said in a statement.

Navigators have until March 1 to register with TDI and until May 1 to complete the 20 hours of Texas-specific training before taking an exam.

Navigators were already required to go through 20 to 30 hours of federally mandated training before they can help people sign up for health insurance through the federally run marketplace.

Lawmakers who oppose the new rules have called them part of an effort to derail the success of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. 

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