TN believes that O-care "navigators" have some credentials
Considering that these people will gather pretty sensitive info (like SS #s), it seems reasonable to weed out any with criminal intent. And it could be reasonable not to expect these people to be able to give advice on choosing different plans. Some on this forum are in this business, and it isn't as easy as it might sound to explain the ins and outs of different plans.Although the agency contends it does not limit advice given by navigators and counselors, the rules do state that they may not “discuss the benefits, terms and features of a particular plan over any other health plans and offer advice about which health plan is better or worse or suitable for a particular individual or employer.”
The rules also require navigators and counselors to be fingerprinted and undergo background checks. Penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation were set in the rules.
“Our focus is on protecting Tennesseans and taking reasonable and responsible steps to provide consumer safeguards,” said Julie McPeak, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. “The emergency rules filed on September 20, 2013, require those individuals who will be accessing Tennesseans’ most sensitive personal financial and medical information to have been subject to a criminal background check as mandated by Tennessee Public Chapter 377. These rules are those reasonable and responsible steps.”
The Federal govt does not require background checks, but the states are allowed to require them. (that may only apply to states that have agreed to set up state exchanges?)
So, TN is being sued, for infringement of freedom of speech.