Naama O. Pozniak in Studio City, Calif. was ready to work around the clock this past weekend to get as many people enrolled on the Affordable Care Acts exchanges as she possibly can before the March 31 open enrollment deadline today. The broker and owner at A+ Insurance Service has started work at 7 a.m. each day in the last few months to keep up with business after she turned her traditional group brokerage into more of a public exchange-focused walk-in office.
Working 15 hour days isnt a problem in her mind, however, but she says she does have major concerns that shes going to miss some people who would like to enroll. She's heard from many people who were confused by the governments deadline extension last week that was simply a chance for consumers with partially completed applications to finalize them after Monday.
People have been calling and theyre thinking theres an overall extension, and somehow some Californians are thinking theres two extra weeks, she says. Its not, its simply March 31. The deadline is there. As of Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had not said how long they would accept these straggler applications.
Pozniak, who was included in an EBA story in February on brokers shifting their businesses to walk-in stores, says shes pleased with how her business has done thanks to the big sign she put in front of her office advertising help with Covered California.
Like 20 to 25 people have walked in a day in the last two days, she told EBA on Friday. Walk-ins are coming who already applied and need help making adjustments, people really need direction about their plan and service will be huge. The agent who will put the time and service will do well.
Not like an accountant
In the Midwest, another broker who opened storefront offices had a different concern as the open enrollment season winds down. A lot of the people who we enrolled had insurance previously, says Jon Rauser of The Rauser Agency in Milwaukee. Im not sure I did a big dent in the Milwaukee uninsured.
While he also says his business model is on track to meet his internal goals for success, he isnt seeing quite as much of a flurry as Pozniak described in her area. Hes had five to 10 walk-ins in the last week and didnt see a need to adjust his weekend hours due to an increased interest by consumers pre-deadline.
This isnt like an accountant on April 15, were not nearly as harried, he says.
For more on storefront brokers see: http://bit.ly/1iQgt2W
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