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Will serve on Md. Health Benefits Exchange group
By AMANDA HARRISONStaff writer
Three Southern Maryland residents have been appointed to the Navigator Advisory Committee for the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange.
Jon Frank, an employee benefits advisor and business owner in Prince Frederick, was appointed by the Exchange Board to co-chair the statewide committee.
Frank, a former member of the Small Business Health Options Plan Exchange Advisory Committee for the Benefit Exchange program, was selected as co-chair after applying to the committee, he said.
The two other residents on the committee are Bill Scarafia, the executive director of the St. Mary’s Chamber of Commerce, and Jay Duke, a licensed producer with Waring Ahearn Insurance in Leonardtown.
According to a news release from Frank’s business, Jon S. Frank & Associates Inc., this Navigator Advisory Committee will be establishing the next steps to be taken for opening up the Benefit Exchange in January 2014.
The Benefit Exchange was established last year by the Maryland General Assembly to fulfill state requirements of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordability Act.
The committee of 20 appointed members will look specifically at the “logistics and issues surrounding the introduction of specially qualified and trained people identified as Navigators in Federal Health Care Reform legislation,” the news release states.
Such Navigators “employ experienced and knowledgeable individuals (who may not work for insurers or be paid by insurers for plan enrollments) to assist individuals and small employers evaluate their insurance options within the insurance exchanges,” according to HealthReformGPS.org, a project created by the George Washington University Hirsh Health Law and Policy program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“How people receive information and assistance through this new channel is an important aspect of how the exchange will work,” Frank said in the release.
According to the release, Frank’s co-chairs are Leigh Cobb, health policy director of Maryland’s Advocates for Children and Youth, and Liddy Garcia Bunuel, executive director of Healthy Howard in Columbia.
The committee will meet weekly beginning July 18 through September, Frank said.
Three additional workgroups have been created for the Benefit Exchange. These groups will focus on how to administer the plans offered, how to manage low-income citizens with frequently changing eligibility and financial sustainability of the exchange.