Federal Background Checks of Health Counselors on Hold

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is backing off a requirement that health counselors be fingerprinted and undergo federal background checks before advising the public about health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. The agency, which issued rules last week mandating federal background checks, now says there is not enough time to run checks through the federal system so basic background checks will have to do. It also clarified that anyone at a church or library can give advice without needing a background check so long as they are not handling confidential information. The Tennessee General Assembly previously passed legislation requiring background checks for those who handle sensitive information in the process of helping Tennesseans file for new health insurance coverage. Nashville Public Radio has the story.