Enclosed in the 279 pages of proposed rules released Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services for the public health insurance exchanges is an answer, sort of, to a question brokers have raised for more than a year — who will be liable for navigators’ mistakes?

n the section of the rules discussing navigators, the Obama administration’s document says “a state or an exchange must not require that all navigators be agents or brokers or carry errors and omissions coverage.” Further, the rule says that if navigators were to be required to carry E&O insurance, this would disqualify them from being considered a “community and consumer-focused nonprofit group.” Federal law requires that at least one such group be listed as a navigator.

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