Cigna notified their appointed health insurance agents at the end of September that they will not pay any commissions in California for individual and family plans. In other words, or symbols, Cigna has given the middle finger to agents who assist consumers with enrollment into their health plans.
Health Insurance Agents Brokers
Posts related to health insurance agents in California working with Covered California, small groups, and the different health plans. Also known as brokers.
A really nice tool for agents and consumers to compare health insurance plan rates is the Shop and Compare Tool. Within this website you can also download a proposal that lists the available health plans by metal tier level for the household information entered. Unfortunately, I recently found that the proposal created may not always match the website results shown.
Consumers receive letters from Covered California stating that their estimated income doesn’t match with their most recent federal tax return. This has led many consumers to assume that Covered California can actually view a taxpayer’s federal return. Covered California can’t see a consumer’s federal tax return unless they send it to them to verify their income.
Covered California is not very health insurance agent friendly when it comes to managing an agent’s book of business. Agents seem to be the last to know when Covered California or Medi-Cal makes changes to a client’s account and either strips their premium assistance or dumps them into Medi-Cal. Covered California has developed book of business and conditional eligibility reports for an agent’s clients enrolled in health plans through Covered California.
Thousands of people every week visit my blog posts explaining different aspects of health care reform from enrolling through Covered California, income requirements, and Medi-Cal eligibility questions. Many people leave comments or suggestions to help other readers of the posts. The Obamacare question and answer forum is supported, oddly enough, by my health insurance clients. These health insurance consumers are supporting a website viewed by thousands of people each week with questions about health insurance.
For independent health insurance agents, such as me, who don’t have access to an already established secure network through a large agency, we have to be more diligent in securing all the different parts of the internet communication puzzle.
Over the course of two different letters to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell, the Executive Director of Covered California, Peter Lee, outlined the benefit of Certified Insurance Agents to their enrollment activities and suggested there should a uniform commission structure for health insurance agents. Mr. Lee’s comments come at a critical time when many health insurance companies are reducing and even eliminating agent commissions.
Covered California has sent Certified Insurance Agents information and links on sensitivity and sales training for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender community. The sensitivity training presentation and social media icons were developed by Out2Enroll a national organization encouraging the enrollment of the LGBT community into Marketplace health insurance. While the overall information is good, there is underlying sales element that reduces the community down to dollar signs instead of human beings.
I screwed up big time on behalf of a man with a serious illness. The end result is that he will be without health insurance for the month of December. Even though there are other people who failed in this situation, I have to take the ultimate responsibility that he might have to shoulder thousands of dollars in health care expenses that would have been covered by health insurance. I broke the business rule of never following your heart, and always trust your gut.
UnitedHealthcare has alerted their appointed health insurance agents that they will not pay any commissions for individual and family plans sold after January 1, 2016. The abrupt cancellation of commissions applies to Marketplace state based exchange plans and health plans sold off-exchange directly through United Healthcare. Commissions on enrollments prior to December 31, 2015, will be honored.