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They're called Navigators and their role is to help steer people through the new healthcare insurance marketplace.

Tammy Allen is one of 12 certified University of Georgia Health Navigators in the entire state.

"Outreach and education specialists that will be informing people how to use the new marketplace," she says.

Under the new health care law, navigators help people learn about health insurance options.

"We've had federal training, state training, and also the University of Georgia training," Allen says.

She covers elevenCentral Georgia counties: Jasper, Putnam, Jones, Baldwin, Bibb, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Peach, Houston, Laurens and Johnson.

Allen says it's not overwhelming because she has the help of her local extension agencies.

They'll help her set up workshops with different organizations like hospitals and librariesthat want to educate people about the healthcare reform marketplace.

"And then I would give them the handout that has that information. Refer them to the actual website further," says Allen. "If I'm at a location that has computers and they go on and need assistance, I can help them navigate through the computer to make sure they are at the right place and doing the right information as it goes along."

Allen says the program is funded by a one-year grant.

Health insurance navigators have come under scrutiny lately, especially in states that oppose President Obama's health care law.
Georgia's insurance commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, wants navigators to pass the same tests as brokers even though federal law says there is a difference between the two.

He says he was doing that to obstruct the health-care law.
Allen says she hasn't felt any government resistance and is eager to help people.

To reach Allen you can call 478-864-3373.

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