National Harbor, Md. -- Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), told a panel of state insurance regulators that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) "will be able to open our doors" on Oct. 1, 2013.
HHS will be able to operate a health insurance exchange in every state that is not able to operate an exchange in time for open enrollment, Cohen said.
If PPACA takes effect on schedule and works as drafters expect, it will require insurers to sell coverage on a guaranteed-issue basis starting in 2014. Insurers will have only a limited ability to take a consumer's age or health into account when setting rates.
Regulators, agents and consumer advocates were concerned that navigators could assume some agent licensing functions and that is not envisioned by state law. Insurance agents are worried consumer advocates will press navigators into an expanded role.