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Kansas Bill on Health Care ‘Navigators’ Advances

Associated Press - March 12, 2014 7:31 pm

Kansas state capital

The Kansas Senate has approved regulations for counselors who help consumers navigate an online insurance marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul strongly opposed by most Republican state officials.

Wednesday’s 30-10 vote in the GOP-dominated Senate sends the measure to the House.

The bill would require health care the so-called health care navigators to register with the attorney general’s office by July 2015, submit their fingerprints and undergo background checks.

The attorney general’s office also would handle complaints about navigators.

Republicans say the bill protects consumers from financial fraud and identity theft. Democrats called the measure unnecessary and a political statement against the 2010 federal health care law.

Kansas has about 170 navigators, most trained by the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, which conducts background checks.

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