Doctor Eclectic

Doctor Eclectic
Doctor Eclectic

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Covered CA Home Page
I had hoped for some content information of what Navigators in Covered California, the California form of the ACA learn to help enrollees find the best plan for their needs in the Exchange, but after 7 telephone calls and one unanswered email, I must depend on what was released to the press about two weeks ago.  On one call I was put into queue as number 456 with an estimated wait time of 28 minutes.  I watched as the queue numbers ratcheted down and the wait time adjusted.  When it got to 5 and then 2 and finally 1 with a 3-second expected wait I suddenly received a message that the phones had stopped working and was encouraged to write the afore-mentioned non-responded email.

But I think I understand the concept.
In their November 30,Press Release Covered CA is pretty specific that Navigators exist.  They say:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California™ has reached milestone levels in the number of professionals trained to help consumers, face to face, as they obtain affordable, quality health insurance through the agency’s online marketplace.

“We are adding in-person assisters by the hundreds each week,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “Our presence in neighborhoods across the state is strong — and growing. Certified Enrollment Counselors, Certified Insurance Agents and county eligibility workers provide consumers with personal, secure and competent help in selecting a health insurance plan that fits their medical needs and budget.”
I have heard Peter V. Lee speak twice and he is exceptionally transparent in his message.  I also serve on several committees in the industry, including AHIP and NADP, both of which are trusted spokespersons for the insurance side of the ACA.

So, I was disappointed that I could not find out more about training than I did.  I am intrigued by several questions:

      1.      What is the potential growth of this group, called Certified Enrollment Counselors in California?

2.      What is the salary, and are there Supervisory and Managerial positions? (Think TSA growth in the years since 9/11).

3.      I know the Brokers involved are arms-length from any insurance company connection, is this true of the Enrollment Counselors?

4.      Is the work seasonal, like Tax Preparers?

5.      How have they recruited 6,000+ counselors, certainly not by fielding requests? Are they political appointments?

Ferdinand Magellan
I am sure the Navigators are not allowed comment on the problems inherent in the Act itself.  Like how can coverage be tailored to one’s lesser needs and still be affordable? How will the Exchanges absorb what is becoming large numbers of people who previously were covered by their employers?  And the big one: How can health coverage that varies so greatly from state to state, including what will be a covered Medicaid population and how will the children’s oral health benefit be defined, be termed a national Health Plan?
Ptolemy's map
It remains to be seen whether the December 23rd deadline will be extended, and how the insurance carriers will be able to handle enrollment.  I hope for the best and expect that the final product will be much different than what was in the 7,000 pages passed into law.

I remain curious as to the certification process for the enrollment counselors.  I believe the Navigators may find the cartography of the process showing the Sea Serpents pictured on the ancient maps.

Thanks to a very active and knowledgeable nephew, I now have four links you might find interesting that answer some of my questions:
1.   How many for how much?
2.   How safe is the Personal Health Information?
3.   How do you get into the system?
4.   How distanced from bias are the Navigators?

Somewhat depressing!

For my next Post I intend to take a serious/humorous look at what is being called the Milk Cliff.  I hope to see you there.


  1. Don't get me started on the ruse and corruption involved with the "navigators". What a farce. It's basically just Barack paying his minions to try to get people to to sign up for this horrible, horrible program.
    and the best one..

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