On July 12, 2013, Missouri enacted senate bill 262 requiring the licensing of health care navigators. While there is currently no #suretybond requirement, a companion bill has been introduced to require a health care navigator surety bond. This new law authorizes the Department of Insurance to license and regulate individual navigators and navigator entities in Missouri. An entity or insurance producer licensed to sell health insurance in Missouri is not required to be licensed as a navigator.
To qualify for an individual navigator license, you must satisfy these requirements:
- Be 18 or older.
- Reside in Missouri or maintain a principal place of business in Missouri.
- Not be disqualified for having committed any act that would be grounds for refusal to issue, renew, suspend or revoke an insurance producer license.
- Successfully pass the examination prescribed by the director.
- When applicable, have the written consent of the director of the Missouri Department of Insurance under 18 U.S.C. §1033 or any successor statute regulating crimes by or affecting persons engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce.
- Have identified the entity with which he or she is affiliated and supervised.
- Have paid the fees prescribed by the director.
Individuals applying for license as a navigator will be required to pass an exam before being issued a license. Pearson VUE will administer the test in Columbia, Overland Park, Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City.
Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, sponsored the bill to require navigators to purchase surety bonds of at least $100,000 to protect clients from improper use of their personal data. Reported by the Columbia Tribune, the measure also would allow anyone who finds their data have been released improperly to sue and recover $50,000 or their actual losses, whichever is greater. This could be recovered from the insurance navigator surety bond. “Someone who uses a navigator is entitled to no less consumer protection than someone who goes to an insurance agent,” Schaefer said. Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, sponsored the licensing proposal last year and said he had wanted to add the surety bonding requirement but was unable to win enough support. During the hearing, insurance representatives supported the proposal. Insurance agents must carry “errors and omissions” insurance to protect their clients, they said, and navigators should have similar consumer protections. “We think it is a good first step in making sure that the people who are ultimately marketing insurance in Missouri have to follow the same requirements I do as an insurance agent,” said Ken Schmidt, legislative chairman of the Missouri Association of Health Underwriters.
National surety leader, Surety One, Inc. offers same day underwriting and execution of health insurance navigator bonds. Visit our website at https://suretyone.com, call (800) 373-2804 or email Underwriting@SuretyOne.com for information and application materials for this or any surety or fidelity bond requirement.