Insurance brokers, concerned that their livelihoods could be significantly impacted with the implementation of health insurance exchanges, are working hard to be sure they continue to play a role and earn agent commissions.
Efforts include working with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to get Congress to exempt broker/agent commissions from the medical loss ratio requirements; introducing a bill in Iowa that requires individuals and small employers to use a broker to purchase on the exchange; and in some states, broker/agents are sitting on the governance boards of exchanges.
America's Health Insurance Plans, the trade association representing health plans, supports the continued role of broker/agents.
The role of broker/agents is being defined now in Tennessee. A Broker/Agent Technical Advisory Group has been established at the State to develop proposals on the role and compensation of broker/agents in Tennessee's Health Insurance Exchange. To date, no formal proposals or decisions have been made, but the following items are being discussed:
- Requiring broker/agent involvement in the small business exchange products.
- Allowing broker/agent involvement in the individual exchange products.
- Leaving broker/agent compensation to be negotiated between the carrier and the broker/agent, but must be the same for products sold in the exchange and products sold outside of the exchange to discourage adverse selection.
- Broker/agent credentialing criteria required by the state.
Read about the decisions that will be discussed at the March 25, 2011 Agent Broker Technical Advisory Group meeting as well as minutes of the January meeting.
Read the Kaiser Health news article on broker/agent activity nationally.