Years ago, Paul Harvey a great radio broadcaster would discuss stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line “And now you know the rest of the story.” I think a lot about this when I think of the discussions on the future of the ACA (more commonly known at Obamacare).
Much has been discussed about insurance carriers leaving Obamacare but just as significant is that some insurance brokers are opting out of some states Exchanges. Part of the reason is that some insurance companies have stopped paying brokers for signing up subscribers using the Exchanges. Some like BCBS of Texas have reduced broker commissions down to as low as 2.5% for brokers who cannot maintain the same number of enrollees as last year. This has created a disincentive to brokers to use exchanges for the induvial markets. The bottom line is that for consumers, the reduction of brokers in this marketplace is a bad thing as it hits the people who need the guidance of a professional broker to help them navigate their options.
According to previous CMS chief Kevin Counihan, he said, at least half of those enrolling in Obamacare plans were guided by a licensed broker or agent who can take a deeper look into finances and other variables to help consumers purchase the best plan for their situation and health issues.
Here is a nice overview of the situation written by John Ingle of the Times Record News (a part of the USA Today network).
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