- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - People who assist others in signing up for insurance under the 2010 federal health care law would have to register with the state and undergo a criminal background check under a bill headed to the Pennsylvania state House.

The Senate passed the bill, 27-22, along party lines. The bill would limit them from selling insurance and allow the state to fine them for violations.

Blair County Republican Sen. John Eichelberger says it’s an important consumer protection step because enrollees reveal financial information when they sign up for insurance in the federally run marketplace.

However, Philadelphia Democratic Sen. Michael Stack says a federal court in Missouri struck down a similar law and it’s unnecessary because Pennsylvania insurance regulators didn’t field any complaints during the previous enrollment period.

The helpers, sometimes called navigators, often worked for non-profit organizations.

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