Ohio panel examines rules for health 'navigators'

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio lawmakers are again weighing regulations for a new group of professionals who will help guide consumers through the new health insurance exchanges.

So-called "navigators" are expected to help educate consumers and small businesses about the new online marketplaces created by the federal health care law. Through these exchanges, consumers will be able to buy individual private policies and apply for government subsidies to help pay their premiums.

Bills introduced in the House and Senate would make navigators pass background checks and set training and educational requirements. The measures also specify they can't sell, solicit or negotiate health insurance.

Ohio has opted for a so-called partnership with the federal government to run the exchange.

Exchanges are scheduled to go into operation in October, with insurance coverage beginning in January 2014.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.