Designating an agent to help you enroll in a new individual and family plan or a small group plan offered through Covered California is pretty simple. Not only can the agent help with the application when he or she is your designated agent, a health insurance agent also provides another level of customer service for future changes. Caution! This blog post does promote me, Kevin Knauss, as a certified agent, but you should select an agent you know, love and trust, which could be me.
Your agent can help
- Add a family member or dependent
- Change plans before moving to a new location in California
- Adjust estimated household income in the event of a raise, new job or loss of employment.
- Explain different benefits and coverage of the plan.
- Add or change employees
Covered California added a Manage Delegates process that lets account holders remove agents or authorized representatives. Authorized representatives are friends or family you give authorization to for managing your account if you are unable to. If you want to change your agent designation, you’ll have to use the Manage Delegates function to remove the old agent before adding the new one.
Removing existing agent
To remove an existing agent-
- Click on Manage Delegates
- Highlight the radio button under Select next to Agents name
- Click on the action Remove
- Two different information windows will pop-up, click continue on each
- With the old agent successfully removed, go to Get Help menu tab
- Select Find Agent and follow the process outlined below.
1. After you have created your Covered California account you can then designate a certified health insurance agent. In the upper right hand corner look for the link that reads “Find Help Near You”. Click on the hyperlink and you’ll see this page.
2. In the middle you’ll see a group of smart looking young professionals. Those people are supposed to be agents, but in reality, most agents are far more normal looking. Click on Find Agents button to bring up the search page.
3. You can search by zip code or name. If you live in San Diego you’ll have to set the search miles to about 485 before my name is included in the results. So I would suggest just typing in my name to get straight to me or the name of your favorite certified agent…which should be me. When you hit search, you’ll get list of agents in your area overly eager to help you.
4. Click on the name of an agent in the search results to read their biography and see their phone and email address. At the time of this posting, the biography box was not being populated with what the agent had included in their profile. It is a website glitch that will be corrected soon..I hope.
5. You now have my profile page open, or an equally intelligent agent of your choosing, click on the continue button for further verification. The Agent Designation page will pop-up. You must check mark the boxes that you have carefully read and considered that the insurance agent will have access to information in your account that helps determine your eligibility for premium assistance. You can then type your name twice to attest to the designation.
6. The health insurance agent will receive your “Designation Request” on his or her agent dashboard in Covered California. The agent must “accept” or “decline” the request. Once the agent accepts your request they will be able to assist you. (**As of October 19, 2013, there is a website problem that prohibits some agents from actually seeing the information of their designated clients. Again, Covered California hopes to have this resolved soon.)
Authorized Representatives and Designated Agents
Designating an agent to help you with your Covered California health plan application is different from delegating or authorizing a representative to see your personal information on the enrollment form. You can delegate an authorized representative that can receive notices and information if you are hearing or visually impaired. The representative can be a family member, trusted friend or advisor. You may delegate more than one authorized representative.
Both an authorized representative and a designated agent can help navigate the sometimes confusing technical terms and notices you might receive from either Covered California or the health plan. You can never have too many friends when it comes to navigating through the maze of health insurance options.