December 17, 2013 (Fairfax, VA) – Delegate Tim Hugo will introduce legislation for the 2014 General Assembly Session to require "health benefit exchange navigators" to undergo a background check prior to being hired to help consumers navigate the healthcare exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation regulating what activities navigators could perform, e.g., offering advice as to what plan to choose. That legislation, however, did not address the growing concerns regarding who is hired as a "navigator."

Delegate Hugo’s legislation would mandate that "navigators" be held to the same standard that is required of insurance agents including background checks. It would be administered as part of the navigators’ certification process with the Commonwealth.

"I am extremely disappointed in the failure of the federal government to install security measures to protect consumers on these healthcare exchanges. My legislation will help to protect the deeply private information that Virginians will be sharing with ‘navigators,’" said Delegate Hugo.

Delegate Hugo went on to say, "Virginians who are seeking health insurance through the exchanges need some assurances that their information is not given to ‘just anyone.’ Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified on November 6th that it is possible for a felon to be hired as a healthcare ‘navigator’. It is particularly egregious that so many Virginians are losing their insurance; and the potential for their personal information and identify to be put at risk is plain irresponsible oversight by the federal government. My legislation seeks to protect consumers as they seek to purchase health insurance on the federal exchange."

As the third ranking member in the Virginia House of Delegates leadership, Delegate Hugo currently serves as the Majority Caucus Chairman for the House Republican Caucus. He is the Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee and also serves on the Commerce and Labor, Transportation, and Privileges and Election Committees. Delegate Hugo represents Centreville, Clifton, Fairfax, and Fairfax Station in Fairfax County as well as Catharpin, Gainesville, Haymarket, and Manassas in Prince William County.