Nevada’s Division of Insurance must not have wanted consumers to know that at least eight Obamacare navigators it licensed had criminal pasts. National Review and the Las Vegas Review-Journal had to sue the Division to obtain those public records, and navigators’ criminal histories are not the only disturbing fact we discovered.
Half of the navigators who’d had run-ins with the law had failed to disclose it on their applications, despite the requirement to do so — but they received Division approval anyway, the records show.
And before the open-enrollment push began, insurance commissioner Scott Kipper briefly approved conditional certification for some navigators before their background checks were complete, prematurely clearing them to access consumers’ confidential information, including Social Security numbers, home addresses, and financial records.
All of this calls into question the suitability and integrity of some Obamacare navigators, as well as the judgment of the Nevada Division of Insurance.
While critics will argue for a second chance for mistake-makers who have paid their debt to society, consumers — who are being compelled by the federal government to buy health coverage — should be certain that their confidential information and privacy are being protected.
Likewise, vulnerable Nevadans — a population this health law seeks to especially benefit — shouldn’t have to wonder whether their navigator has a reckless or dangerous past.
Nevertheless, navigators’ records ranged from the scary to the ridiculous.
One navigator had been convicted of family violence battery in 2005, and, according to the warrant, had been arrested for “punching [the] victim in the face and head, causing cuts on left eyebrow and right ear.” That same navigator allegedly violated a restraining order in 2012 by coming into an alleged victim’s backyard, and in 2002, had pled guilty to shoplifting at Nordstrom.
Another navigator was arrested in the 1980s for attempting to commit a fraud. “A guy friend . . . helped me obtain [forged] ID so I could open a bank account and make deposits to allow [completed checks] to clear the bank and the funds to be dispersed,” the navigator wrote. Though it was a felony charge, after restitution and a six-month stint at Santa Clara County Halfway Program, the navigator ended up with a misdemeanor conviction.