Health insurance exchange; navigators & other exchange assistors, licensing & regulation, penalties. (HB136)

Introduced By

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Navigators and other exchange assistors; licensing; regulation; penalties. Requires any navigator, any navigator's subgrantee or partner organization, certain of their employees or volunteers, and any certified application counselor to be licensed by the State Corporation Commission if the person provides advice, guidance, or other assistance with regard to health benefit plans under the provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Conditions for licensure of these exchange assistors include completing a training program, passing an examination, and submitting a criminal history. Grounds for the Commission to refuse to issue or renew a license, or to revoke or suspend a license, include being convicted of a felony involving fraud, misuse of funds, or misuse of information, being required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry, and knowingly providing inaccurate information to uninsured persons regarding premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. The bill makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to provide information that the person obtained while acting as an exchange assistor to any political party or political organization for purposes related to voter registration, to disclose a social security number or any other personal information of any individual that was obtained while acting as an exchange assistor, or to encourage or direct an individual to knowingly make any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations to an exchange or government agency in connection with an application for health insurance coverage, enrollment in a health benefit program, or a subsidy provided under the federal act. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/18/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14100677D
12/18/2013Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/09/2014Referred from Commerce and Labor
01/09/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/10/2014Assigned Courts sub: Civil
01/20/2014Referred from Courts of Justice
01/20/2014Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/21/2014Assigned C & L sub: Subcommittee #2
01/22/2014Impact statement from SCC (HB136)
01/23/2014Impact statement from SCC (HB136)
01/23/2014Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/12/2014Left in Commerce and Labor


Mary Devoy writes:

Sometimes bills are named after the people who inspired them, or of a victim to remember and sometimes bills are given a catchy title to either summarize what the long-winded bill will do or to point out the true intention of the bill which could be hidden amidst pages and pages of legal mumbo-jumbo.

HB136 proposes numerous points and among those many proposals is one specific prohibition that I know will get lost and or completely ignored during the debate so I’m proposing a catchy title for HB136 so that the punitive measure Delegate Marshall has added for absolutely no reason is highlighted and does not go unnoticed.

From today on while referencing HB136 to the lawmakers and the media I will refer to it as:

The 2014 yet another job /career that Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) are legislatively banned from having for no particular reason, but it sounds reasonable and who in their right mind would ever oppose it Bill.

This bill that outlines the Navigators and Exchange Assistors licensing and regulation for the Virginia Health Insurance Exchange does not prohibit citizens convicted of murder, selling illegal drugs, using illegal drugs, selling illegal weapons, using illegal weapons, robbery, larceny, insurance fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, selling stolen property or vehicle theft from becoming a Navigator or an Accessor.

It doesn’t ban all felons from becoming a Navigator or an Accessor.

It doesn’t ban all Virginians convicted of misdemeanors from becoming a Navigator or an Accessor.

BUT, HB136 does propose that any Virginian who registers as a Sex Offender can not be a Navigator or an Accessor, which includes felonies and misdemeanors.

WHY is Delegate Marshall singling out the 20,3000+ Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia?

I thought well maybe there are Federal guidelines already in place and RSO’s have already been singled out and maybe Delegate Marshall is just following the mandated guidelines, I searched the web and found no such restriction.

Employment is a requirement of probation, employment is also necessary to provide housing, clothing and food for yourself and for your family.

In Virginia we publically shame Employers and Companies who hire the best candidate for a job who also happens to be a Registered Sex Offender. We post the Employer/Company name and address on the offenders registry listing so that customers, clients, contractors and anonymous callers can harass and condemn the Employer for hiring a Registered Virginian. Because of this most Employers automatically refuse to hire RSO’s or after a few weeks from hiring decide the public humiliation and constant harassment isn’t worth it, and they fire the RSO.

RSO’s are already legislatively banned from working at schools, daycares, coaching, driving school buses, tow trucks and charters of minors plus holding an elected state position. Then there are businesses that do background checks to weed out the RSO’s but would never admit to it and then there are companies with “No RSO” policies that do admit to it.

Self-employment is usually the only option for a Registered Sex Offender as no employer or company wants to be bothered, but three years ago the Federal Government banned all RSO’s from being allowed to obtain Small Business Loans, including the misdemeanors. According to the lawmakers and most citizens if you must register as an RSO then you are all the same.

Barriers like this one in HB136 are not just cruel but they make a successful re-entry back into society nearly impossible.

There is no justified motive to ban RSO’s from applying to the Navigator positions; this proposal is based on false perceptions, prejudice, hate and vindictiveness.

Prolonging unjust treatment or control over a group is oppression and that’s what the patron of HB136 is attempting to do oppress a segment of the Commonwealth just because he doesn’t like them not because these positions create a danger to society.

Registered Sex Offenders are any easy target; they make a perfect punching-bag and stepping-stone all in one for career Legislators. I’ve witnessed this first hand for the last 5 years. A veritable parade of malicious, callus, intolerant, apathetic, fear-mongering, myth-based proposals by egomaniacs who crave the feeling of moral superiority at any cost and today that cost is another job opportunity being taken away from citizens and families already struggling to survive.

Delegate Marshall, remove the section of HB136 that prohibits RSO’s from becoming Navigators and Accessors in the Virginia Health Exchange its real purpose is to make you appear "tough on predators" but in reality it makes you appear weak and completely unsupportive of the successful re-entry of Virginia's ex-offenders, an initiative of Governor McDonnell's Administration.

Mary Devoy writes:

Just reread bill text: Prohibits people convicted of fraud, misuse of funds, or misuse of information. I missed these earlier, I apologize for the error.

I'm not saying its right to exclude people convicted of these three crimes, but at least its relevant to being an insurance navigator where as being an RSO and navigating citizens through the insurance process are not connected, at all!

Joe Schlatter writes:

This bill is nothing but an attack on implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA was passed by Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Still, rightwingerdingers like Del. Bob "Sideshow" Marshall continue to throw roadblocks in the way of ACA implementation.

Navigators are volunteers, trained to assist people in "navigating" through the ACA to obtain health insurance.

Perhaps Del. Marshall and anyone else who supports this nonsense bill will answer a few questions:

1. Exactly what problem are you trying to solve with this bill?

2. Why do you want to prevent people who have no health insurance from getting health insurance?

3. Do you not understand that people without health insurance cost each of us in increased medical expenses . . . because . . . health care providers simply take the cost to treat uninsured people and spread that cost among those of us with insurance?

Here are detailed discussions of these attacks on ACA navigators:

Bob Lindsey writes:

HB-136 is an unneeded addition to the bureaucratic load already burdening our government and taxpayers.