Insurance agent Obama & the law


To paraphrase, insurance contracts disclaimers state that oral agreements are not legal or enforceable. Only that which is in writing for that specific type of policy may be enforced.

Since most of our legislators hadn’t read the policy, but signed it prior to its rollout, they really can’t claim verbal foul after the fact.

By the same token, if any insurance agent knowingly makes oral misrepresentations that could be substantiated, the state insurance commissioner could take their license for life, fine them, incarcerate them, or all three. Is Agent Obama walking on thin ice in the eyes of the (NAIC) National Association of Insurance Commissioners?

President (Agent) Obama is blatantly guilty of oral misrepresentation; but then again he doesn’t have an agency director powerful enough to monitor his actions.

More than likely he doesn’t even have an insurance license, and under most state laws it is illegal to discuss, promote, or sell insurance without this license. Even funeral directors are required to have an insurance license if they market pre-paid funeral plans.

I am sure President Obama’s oral errors and omissions were probably due to a lack of training, which is creating an underlying problem not yet addressed. Our talking heads in politics and newsrooms throw out enrollee numbers in the millions without any discussion as to whether the navigators or certified applicant counselors will be qualified to handle the varied needs of the masses; which, at this point doesn’t even include workplace insurance.

The question has not yet risen that addresses as to where, or how, the federal government is recruiting navigators and at what cost.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s agency granted $67 million in awards to 105 navigator applicants in federally-facilitated and state partnership marketplaces.

Georgia is receiving nearly $4 million to help educate people about the insurance plans available under the federal Affordable Care Act.

This will be done by two groups: the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Cooperative Extension Service and (Seedco) Structured Employment Economic Development Corp.

Two of the Georgia Seedco partnerships listed are “Boat People SOS,” originally formed to aid Vietnamese refugees, and “Georgia Watch,” originally an advocate for utility assistance for the poor.

There should be grave concerns from the state insurance commissioners and the NAIC with either of these groups have the expertise to meet a diverse population’s healthcare needs that are extremely foreign to the group’s original purposes.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Deputy Director, HHS, said, everyone working as a navigator must complete 20 hours of training that include an emphasis on data security and privacy laws, and then pass a test to get certified initially.

Three days of training to be competent enough to protect a family’s future? What college program could be designed to meet the magnitude of learning required for this purpose in only 20 hours?

Realize this: a navigator acts as a trusted advisor who holds the key to a family’s financial stability. Without proper training or having experienced leaders to guide these navigators, the families they counsel could face health and financial ruin.

As an agency director, and then the founder of the “National Insurance Training Institute” I’ve trained thousands of insurance professionals who for the most part went through a two-year combination of classroom and supervised field training in order to gain the knowledge needed to perform a task with this much responsibility. I find it hard to believe a navigator with only 20 hours training can perform adequately in this position.

Consequently Georgia has imposed a law more in line with its insurance producers’ licensing and requires 35 hours of training, a criminal-background check, among other provisions, for navigator’s certification.

However, although HHS recognizes the rights of individual states to impose additional requirements, HHS can circumvent any state requirements based on the following statement: “Provided that it (training requirements) doesn’t affect the ability of the navigator to perform the organization’s role and that none of the provisions conflict with the ACA.”

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure continued, “The federal government would intervene if it felt a state’s requirements were too much, at the point where it looks as though there was some hindrance to the navigator performing the role as outlined by our regulations and by the ACA.”

Is this a “code” for, “if we see our navigators cannot meet the fiduciary educational requirements to function properly as a trusted advisor, we can override the state’s requirements it put in place to insure its citizens are getting the proper information to make an informed decision”?

Joel Kinsman
Peachtree City, Ga.