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Obamacare Navigators Subject to Strict State Privacy Laws [AUDIO]

Health Care
photo courtesy of MDGovpics/flickr

One of the new terms Montanans will become familiar with in the coming months is “navigators.” Navigators are individuals and organizations that help guide those with questions about how to access and utilize the new Obamacare health exchanges.

There has been some criticism that the navigators may put patient privacy at risk. However, Jennifer McKee, Press Secretary for Montana State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, said the navigators will be bound by strict rules.

“The law that already covers insurance companies and insurance agents, that safeguards Montanan’s personal information, a law called the Montana Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act, covers navigators, as well,” McKee said. “The navigators will all be fingerprinted, and they’ll have a background check.”

McKee said the penalties for those who violate these rules are severe.

“Anyone who fails to keep the health information private is subject to a $25,000 fine per violation,” McKee said. “Under some circumstances, Montanans may also sue those who fail to keep their information private. So, that’s part of the training information that will be going out from this office to the navigators, and to any others who may be assisting with Obamacare.”

McKee said three organizations were awarded navigator grants from the federal government.

“The Montana Primary Care Association got the single largest grant of $299,000,” McKee said. “The Montana Health Network got $199,000, and Planned Parenthood of Montana got a grant of $295,000.”

Jennifer McKee, Press Secretary for Montana State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen:

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