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CMS urged to clarify rules for unofficial Marketplace assisters

May 3, 2013

The AHA today commended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for proposing standards for “navigators” and others who help uninsured consumers enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning in October, but urged the agency to clarify the role, responsibilities and requirements for those who provide voluntary assistance, without federal financial support. “We do not wish to see any disincentives for hospitals or others to lend their hands to the task of enrolling individuals in health coverage,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Richard Pollack in comments submitted today. The letter also recommends that CMS consolidate consumer assistance programs and standards under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “into one set of rules that provide greater clarity on which entities can perform which functions, and which standards apply to each type of assister.” In addition, AHA urged CMS to make consumer or beneficiary information available in the 15-20 most frequently encountered languages, “to avoid duplicative costs at the local level.”