The government announced last month that it spent $ 67 million on staff, called “navigators” to help people enroll in health insurance for the coming year. But at the same time, he handed off relay training insurance agents and brokers the sale, including insurance companies pay for people to sign up their plans.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has signed agreements with at least five online brokers health insurance allows people to their health plans out there, rather than trade-similar to how consumers can buy tickets on Expedia or Orbitz government rather than buying tickets directly from the airlines carriers.
Among the brokers that sell primarily individual health plans are eHealth EHTH -0.28%, 0.46% TW Towers Watson, HealthCompare, Getinsured, ConnectedHealth and GoHealth. And there may be others. CMS says it can not confirm the number of agents were allowed to enroll eligible consumers in health plans that are tax subsidies in 36 countries, in place of government health insurance racing as 1 October.
“The government essentially compensates us for help enroll more people, which is really important,” said Bryce Williams, director of foreign exchange solutions Towers Watson and founder ExtendHealth. “It’s really not a government. ”
There are a few reasons why the government needs help, primarily because of their support staff, navigators, may not provide the same level of customer service provided by private insurance brokers say some experts. While the Ministry of Health and Social Services have expanded the scope of federal browsers funding increased $ 13,000,000 $ 54,000,000 was originally planned also linked hands to play a key role played by intermediaries still play in the insurance inscription: navigators are not allowed to advising consumers who plan to choose.
Prohibit browsers make recommendations or directly to consumers in the health plans, the government wants to get rid of the new health exchange market bias affects the insurance industry, that is, agents and brokers earn commissions for registration of people in some shots. Browsers may not have relationships with insurance carriers and health, and to carry out 30 hours of online training that teaches them to remain neutral and avoid bias, said Tracey Keiser, president and chief direction Keiser Group, a health care benefit strategies and consulting company. But the rule reduces the navigator just over holders hand, some argue. “They are there to help people register and that’s it -. Did not really there to advise them,” Keiser says “the only help they can provide is how to choose the coverage without the coverage you choose.”