California delaying Navigator rollout
I couldn't find any references to this elsewhere on Corrente; my apologies if someone has already covered it.
According to this August 22 document from the executive director of Covered California, the Golden State's insurance exchange, customer assistance personnel who meet state and federal guidelines --navigators -- won't be available until July of 2014. That means these "independent insurance ombudsmen" will be available in time for the program's second open enrollment period beginning in October of 2014, but not for the first period beginning tomorrow. Instead, the state is relying on a combination of "certified enrollment counselors" and insurance agents to inform people about the exchange and help enroll them in it. What I gather from the various news sources covering the issue is that the state anticipates having something like 3,000 enrollment assistants ready to go tomorrow, with another 10,000+ coming online by January of next year. I haven't found anyone addressing the employment circumstances of these people, as in what happens to them once the open enrollment period is over and once the official Navigator program is up and running. The future of the other component of the state's sales program, licensed insurance agents, appears to be assured.