COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Senate has passed a bill to require training and certification for a new group of professionals who will be available to guide consumers through the new health insurance market, known as the exchange.
The Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill on Tuesday. The House has passed a similar bill.
These so-called health navigators will help educate consumers and small businesses about the online marketplaces created by President Barack Obama's health care law.
Through these exchanges, consumers will be able to buy individual private policies and apply for government subsidies to help pay their premiums. Open enrollment starts Oct. 1, and coverage takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Ohio's bill would require navigators to pass criminal background checks, and it specifies they can't sell, solicit or negotiate health insurance.