A fix is in the works to ensure agents and brokers can identify themselves and therefore receive commissions for their work on the federally-facilitated marketplace, an agency official at The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight said Tuesday.
The long-awaited fix to the National Producer Number (NPN) is expected to be in place by Nov. 15 and will allow brokers to enter their identifiable information and receive commissions, said Michael Adelberg, acting director of the exchange policy and operating group at CCIIO during an event sponsored by Americas Health Insurance Plans in Washington.
We know this is an important technical step forward for the agent and broker community, he said.
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Adelberg explained that for year-two open enrollment, CCIIO has streamlined the registration and renewal process for brokers, in that brokers returning to the system do not need to complete part two of registration, which consists of identify proofing.
Further, help desk scripts for when brokers request help have been updated. We are not generating the same number of new scripts and queries at this point, Adelberg said. Which makes us think we understand the universe of known issues and have good fixes for the vast majority of them.
Speaking separately at the AHIP conference, Kevin Counihan, the new CEO of the federal health insurance marketplace and former head of Connecticuts state-run exchange, gave brokers an endorsement. Having previously worked with brokers in Massachusetts Connector as chief marketing officer, Counihan stressed how consumers can turn to them for help while enrolling or re-enrolling. "Communication with consumers is important; we need to educate the consumer, he said. ... They should visit an in-person assister or broker to help them pick the best plan."
Adelberg explained that CCIIO is in the middle of the process where agents and brokers register to sell in states with federally-facilitated marketplaces. The number of registered agents and brokers is ahead of pace from last year and CCIIO is cautiously optimistic that more agents and brokers will participate than last year.
We [know] agents and brokers are vital partners in the success of getting people [enrolled], he added, so we want to make sure they get good service. There were some trying moments in year one.
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