Brokers have completed a significant amount of the enrollments on state-run and federally run Affordable Care Act public exchanges, according to several estimates by brokers in state-level leadership positions.
In California, agents have written upwards of 75% of the business on Covered California, according to approximations by Sam Smith, who serves as president of the California Association of Health Underwriters and is president of Genesis Financial in the Los Angeles area. He notes that the state hasnt officially released these numbers, but hes aware of the high rate of broker sales in talking with carriers and other officials close to ACA enrollment.
We have proven our worth in the market and we demand the respect we deserve, he says. Covered California has not released broker enrollment numbers yet, but plans to do so at some point in the future. Representatives did not comment on when, exactly, this information will be available.
In North Carolina, a federally run exchange, brokers have written 30% of the business on the exchange and 70% of all business off the exchange, according to estimates provided by Liz Gallops, who serves as vice president of the North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters and is a broker at Allegacy Business Solutions in Winston-Salem, N.C. Her figures were provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield in the state.
When it was announced that President Barack Obama had thanked more than 2,000 navigators and enrollment assisters on Thursday during a conference call assembled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but did not mention brokers the event hit home for many brokers who have adjusted their business models to dedicate their time to exchange enrollment.
For brokers reactions to being left off the conference call by the president, see: http://bit.ly/1hyQzwY
For broker problems with on ACA exchange carrier in particular, see: http://bit.ly/1iVs6Gp
I hope the White House will not forget the important role agents have played in helping consumers with the ACA, Gallops says. Unlike our non-agent counterparts, agents will be around after enrollment to assist consumers, help with claims and payment issues, explain renewals, and provide consumer protections that no other enroller entity can.
In Texas, broker Kelly Fristoe in Wichita Falls echoed Smith and Gallops accounts of high broker enrollment rates in their respective states: Here in my area the local [certified application counselors] have only enrolled a handful of people. Its my opinion that the agent community has been more instrumental in educating and enrolling the public than any navigator or CAC.
CMS has collected information from all federal applications, which includes if a broker assisted or not, but the agency says they do not have the stats broken down for reporting at this time.
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