Back before Oct. 1, 2013, when public health insurance exchange systems came to life (or failed to come to life), some exchange builders seemed to go out of their way to spit in brokers’ eyes.
Since then, managers of most of the state-based Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges that are still state-run have done what they could to reach out to brokers.
Managers of Maryland’s PPACA exchange, the Maryland Health Connection, want to take outreach a step further: Starting with the 2016 individual coverage open enrollment period, which is set to run from Nov. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016, they want to transfer many consumers who call the exchange call center directly to authorized brokers.
Having call center customer service representatives make warm transfers of consumers to brokers should shorten the reps’ caller handle time, give consumers access to expert advice on coverage options, and give the brokers easy access to a stream of eager, pre-qualified leads, according to a broker pilot presentation prepared by Michele Eberle, the Maryland exchange operations director.
Eberle talked about the pilot program Tuesday, during an exchange board meeting.
For more details about the pilot program, taken from a written version of Eberle’s presentation included in a board meeting slidedeck, read on.
1. Broker prep
In the system envisioned by Maryland exchange managers, brokers will supply their own headsets and install call center phone software on their own computers.
To take calls from exchange callers, they’ll log into a special queue in a phone system.
2. Call center rep maze running
A call center rep will get a caller through the complicated PPACA coverage eligibility screening process.
The rep will determine if the caller appears to be eligible for Medicaid or other government health programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) program.