One big question for agents and brokers is what the new individual major medical open enrollment period system will do to “nap period” sales of other types of insurance products.
Regulators, exchanges and insurers required most consumers to buy individual coverage during a period that started Oct. 1, 2013, and ended in mid-April in most of the country, to keep consumers from waiting until they get sick to buy coverage. The ordinary enrollment cut-off does not apply to group health coverage, dental coverage, vision coverage, short-term medical insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, critical illness insurance or hospital indemnity insurance. The cut-off certainly does not apply to life insurance or property-casualty insurance.
But, in theory, the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could be taking advantage of the individual major medical nap period to sell group health plans. So far, the scanty bits of data dribbling out suggest that few public exchanges are racking up big group health plan sales.
Health Insurance Innovations Inc. (Nasdaq:HIIQ) — a distributor of short-term medical insurance and other products that fall outside the scope of PPACA major medical product requirements — provided some clues earlier this month when it posted preliminary second-quarter unit sales numbers.