I’m not above begging. That is essentially what I did when I addressed the Covered California Board at their March 5, 2015 meeting. Since I have not been paid a commission from Covered California’s small group SHOP division in over eight months, I was politely requesting if someone could look into the situation. My public comments were spurred by an email I received from SHOP in early March notifying me that they had no time frame for paying the commissions I was owed.
Agents are begging to be paid SHOP commissions
While the Small Business Health Options Program, SHOP, is a nice concept of the Affordable Care Act, it has been rather poorly managed in California by Pinnacle Claims Management, the company contracted by Covered California to oversee the program. For the most part I and other agents ignore SHOP for our small group clients because there are better alternatives in the market place. Unfortunately for some of us agents that did enroll a small group with SHOP and aren’t getting paid our commissions, we are hoping someone will hold Pinnacle Management accountable for commission payments eight months old.
Kevin Knauss address Covered California board members
No time frame or paying commissions
After numerous phone calls to SHOP inquiring when I might see a commission check I received the following response on March 3rd.
Good Morning Kevin,
Unfortunately, the state is still trying to catch up in paying agents current; as of right now, agents have been paid through 9/30/14.
I have added you to a list that will be escalated for review by the team in Sacramento. They will review the missing commission owed for June – September for your group. Please allow some time for the reviewing process.
Unfortunately, I cannot provide a timeframe as to when you can expect your commission. I apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused and thank you for your patience while we are diligently working to get your SHOP Employer business commission payments current.
Pinnacle Management has failed
Most businesses turn over debts over ninety days old to a collections agency. After six months, depending on the size of the debt, it is written off. I am an independent health insurance agent who is a small business. Small businesses are broken by accounts that will not pay their bills. It is inconceivable that Pinnacle Management has made absolutely no attempt to reach out to me or the other agents owed commissions to inform us about the status of the payments. Their actions are arrogant and show a complete disregard for the agents that brought them small groups to keep the program alive.
I hope that when Pinnacle Management’s contract comes up for renewal that the Board at Covered California will seriously consider the injury Pinnacle Management has caused the agent community by withholding commissions because they can’t figure out basic bookkeeping.