Insurance Commissioner Criticizes Navigator Grants

Aug 19, 2013

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak
Credit Provided / Oklahoma Insurance Department

Three Oklahoma organizations will receive a combined $1.6 million in federal funds to provide navigators under the Affordable Care Act, a move Insurance Commissioner John Doak called a waste of money.

“First, (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) wastes money an increases costs for insurers and consumers by duplicating regulation already performed by the Oklahoma Insurance Department,” Doak said in a press release. “Now, they continue this wastefulness by spending more on organizations that will be duplicating the work done by Oklahoma’s licensed agents and brokers.”

More than 335,000 insurance and agents and brokers are licensed by the Insurance Department.

Under state law, they are the only ones who may sell, solicit and negotiate insurance in the state.

Under the Affordable Care Act, however, navigators will help consumers and small businesses find insurance in the health insurance exchange or marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms.