Slideshow Brokers react to Aetna cutting commissions

Published
  • June 19 2015, 2:58am EDT
9 Images Total

Overview

Aetna is eliminating broker commissions on small-group business. That news generated a variety of reactions this week — some were shocked, others weren’t, the move was condemned and also touted. Here are some thoughts from EBA readers.

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‘Shocking’ news

“This is shocking! Talk about a way to alienate the broker community. Once again the carriers are totally out of touch with their most important clients: the brokers! They always think they can do it without us.”

Posted by David A

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Not so surprising

“This isn't surprising. Many of the Aetna VPs have predicted this. What is surprising is that supposedly Aetna is up for sale. They are hurting their company when they are trying to market it. Sort of like blowing the transmission on your car before you sell it. It is going to be difficult for the California broker who cannot take a fee and be a commissioned broker at the same time. Those rules have to change.”

Posted by Rhonda N

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‘Stop selling Aetna’

“We all saw this coming. The dream of the insurance companies and the administration is to eliminate brokers altogether. And you can sit there and enunciate all the benefits and the good we do for clients until you are blue in the face … they do not care.
“For the time being, we ALL should stop selling Aetna in any form. For the last two years, they have not being very good in my territory anyway and their service is lousy.”

Posted by Geronimo

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Remove Aetna from the equation

“I have a better solution to this new arrangement: Eliminate Aetna from taking on the burden of adding broker fees to the billings. This should reduce Aetna's administrative costs, which should be passed on to the consumer. Also, since the ‘negotiated’ fees paid to the brokers are exclusively between the clients and brokers, it is none of Aetna's business to know anything about what has been negotiated.”

Posted by Michael R

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Other carriers should follow suit

“Personally, I believe that good agents who deliver real value should be cheering from the rafters. It is easy to talk about how much you are worth as an agent when the client has no idea what you are getting paid and no choice. Personally, I hope that all medical carriers make this move. If they do, I will get back into the group medical business.”

Posted by Mel S

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Industry in jeopardy

“Agents were not at the table prior to the passing of the ACA and if we do not do something, we are going to lose our industry.”

Posted by Ronnell N

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A lot of questions to be answered

“Though it is absolutely Aetna's right to not use agents in the small group market or any market for that matter, are agent licenses no longer required/recognized in these transactions? Can any independent contractor collect fees under these agreements? There are lots of questions that need to be answered and industry associations need to step up to provide clarity to its members.”

Posted by Elena M

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Loyalty to be tested

“Is this just a way for Aetna to say they are getting out of the small-group market? After all, do they think the organizations that have Aetna coverage now are loyal to Aetna or to their agent/broker? With no commissions, this business will dry up for them.”

Posted by William S

Read the article: Is Aetna eliminating commissions on small-group business?

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