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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

Health agents work to move beyond plan sales

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Major medical insurers seem to be almost an afterthought at the 85th National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) annual convention.

One place the lack of a major medical insurer presence shows up is in the convention phone app.

See also: NAHU heads to New Orleans

The convention started Sunday and is set to run until Wednesday.

Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) is a platinum-level sponsor, but it didn’t get itself listed in the individual health, medical or small-group health exhibitor sections in the app.

Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield consortium behind Geo Blue have gotten themselves listed in the individual health section — to promote health insurance products aimed at people who are living or traveling outside the United States, not, primarily, coverage for U.S. residents getting care in the United States.

NAHU leaders themselves are continuing to encourage member agents and brokers to try to reshape PPACA. NAHU is using Twitter, for example, to encourage members to send emails supporting H.R. 879 and H.R. 2050, federal bills that seek repeal of the PPACA “Cadillac plan” provision, which is set to impose a 40 percent excise tax on issuers of high-cost plans starting in 2018.

NAHU organized a session at the convention, in New Orleans, on insurers’ efforts to reform the way they pay health care providers.

But most of the exhibitors seem to be focusing on helping NAHU members become sellers of PPACA implementation and benefits administration expertise, rather than producers who earn commissions by selling individual or group medical insurance policies.

See also: NAHU members face the heat

Transcend Technologies Group Inc., the parent of the benefitsConnect benefits enrollment and administration system company, has been using an Apple Watch giveaway to get attention for a PPACA full-time employee equivalent tracking system.

Human resources (HR) exhibitors include Infinisource Inc., a payroll and HR systems company, and Staff One Inc., a staffing company. 

HealthPlan Holdings Inc. is there to offer brokers access to the MyConsumerLink system, a system an agency can use to put its own brand on an exchange website.

HealthiestYou is using “mystery crates” to try to whet brokers’ interest in a health care appointment-setting app that a self-insured plan could use to help enrollees get in-network care about as easily as an Uber app user can summon a cab.

Even many of the insurers at the convention seem to be assuming that brokers will turn the commercial major medical market over to the insurers and public exchange system, and focus instead on serving self-funded plans and niche markets.

HCC Medical Insurance Services is in New Orleans to talk about stop-loss insurance for self-funded group health plans.

Many other insurers are focusing on products such as dental insurance, disability insurance and long-term care insurance.

See also: NAHU 2013: Bruce Benton looks back

David Mead, a general session speaker, told attendees that having jobs people don’t like is bad for their health.

At another point, Mead told the attendees, “Leadership is a choice.”

The conference-goers may already be acting on that philosophy, by leading their profession away from health insurance market sectors shaken up by PPACA and toward more producer-friendly sectors.


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