People Who Can Help You Make Decisions About Coverage

Last updated: October 7, 2015

3 Types of People Who Can Help

Insurance Agents 

  • Health insurance agents sell coverage on behalf of one or more insurance companies. Health insurance agents are licensed in Kansas. They receive continuing education related to their job. They can help educate you about:

    • Health insurance policies

    • Help you apply for coverage

    • Advise you about the type of health insurance coverage that best suits you and your family

    • Agents can sell you insurance plans in the market outside the exchange

  • Agents who want to sell policies through the Health Insurance Marketplace will have had extra training from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They will have passed a test at the end of their training to sell insurance policies through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • You may want to talk with more than one agent before making a decision on which plan to buy.

Navigators 

  • Navigators are people trained to help you understand the insurance policies available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. They answer your questions about

    • The Marketplace

    • Insurance affordability program (including Medicaid and CHIP)

  • Navigators also can help educate you about their health insurance policy options.

  • They also help you apply for coverage.

  • Navigators get grants from the federal government and receive training on how to assist consumers. After training, they must pass a test and be certified by the federal government.

Certified Application Counselors 

  • Counselors provide enrollment assistance to consumers.

  • Certified application counselors receive and successfully complete comprehensive training.

  • They, too, can help educate you about health insurance plans and help them complete an application for coverage.

    • Examples of application counselors include staff at local community health centers, hospitals, or other consumer non-profit organizations.

How Are These People Paid?

Insurance Agents
  • They may have an agreement with insurance companies.

    • The insurance company will pay them if they enroll consumers in a health insurance policy. These must be consistent with state law.

  • Other agents may work directly for an insurance company and be paid a salary by the company.

Kansas Navigator organizations get funding from the federal government.
  • Individual navigators may be volunteers. In some cases they are staff paid by the organization.

  • They don’t get enrollment-based reimbursement from insurance companies.

  • They are not allowed to charge a fee.

Certified Application Counselors
  • They may be paid staff of the organization for which they work. But they will not be paid through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

  • They don’t get enrollment-based reimbursement from insurance companies.

  • They are not allowed to charge a fee.

  • They can receive federal funding through other grant programs, Medicaid, or from another source.

This article is published on KansasMoney.gov. Find more information by contacting these state agencies: