The Federal Register document says assistance workers will be paid $20 per hour, project leaders will be paid $29 per hour and executives will make about $48 per hour.
“These seem to be inflated hourly wages compared to corresponding positions in the private sector,” he said. “I am very concerned that tens of thousands of navigators will be hired at a time when thousands of current federal employees are being placed on furloughs to reduce our budget deficit.”
There are an estimated 337,000 private-sector insurance sales agents currently working in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly wage is $30.50, or $63,400 per year.
The administration did not specify how many of these navigators would be hired in the proposed rule. But the federal government would only be offering grants for the ones working in states that opted to use the federal healthcare exchanges. States using their own marketplaces would have to supply their own navigators.
The new workers would not be able to enroll individuals into health coverage, but rather serve to guide them through the process. Whether working for the federal or state exchanges, the navigators are prohibited from being paid by insurance companies.
“I have great concerns over the lack of need and the significant resources that the navigator program and its support staff will consume,” Marchant continued. “Hiring tens of thousands of new workers that cannot treat patients, nor even by definition actually enroll citizens in a qualified health plan, appears to be a significant misuse of taxpayer funds.”