Agents and brokers may have to do some babysitting to make sure HealthCare.gov gets and keeps the information that helps the producers get paid.
Managers of HealthCare.gov, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) public exchange enrollment system, gave HealthCare.gov producers that message Tuesday during an exchange producer webinar, according to a webinar slidedeck.
See also: You may be a HealthCare.gov “A/B”
HealthCare.gov managers hold weekly producer webinars at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesdays during the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) open enrollment period.
HealthCare.gov exchange producers have complained for years about problems with National Producer Numbers (NPNs) dropping off of exchange plan clients’ applications. When NPNs drop off applications, producers may have trouble getting commissions or other payments even from the insurers that are still paying commissions.
CMS recently took steps to make sure NPNs stay attached to clients’ HealthCare.gov applications, and it “believes the actions it has taken resolve concerns about NPNs falling off a small subset of enrollment transactions moving forward,” officials said.
Privacy concerns limit producers’ ability to look at clients’ applications on their own.
CMS officials said producers can look for NPNs when they are helping clients use the HealthCare.gov website. If the NPN is not on the application, “have the consumer re-enter it before the consumer closes out the application,” officials said.
Producers can also ask about NPNs when they are calling the HealthCare.gov call center, officials said.
“If your NPN is not there, the consumer may have the Marketplace call center add or re-enter your NPN to an application when making updates to it,” officials said.
Officials recommended that producers avoid calling the call center between 9 a.m. and noon, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., from Dec. 13 to Dec. 15, from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, or on Jan. 29 or Jan. 31.
Open enrollment started Nov. 1. The deadline for applying for 2016 coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2016 is Dec. 15, 2015. The deadline for coverage that starts Feb. 1, 2016 is Jan. 15, 2016, and the deadline for getting 2016 coverage without qualifying for a special enrollment period (SEP) is Jan. 31, 2016.
CMS officials had extra advice for producers who are helping consumers reenroll in individual or family coverage through an exchange plan issuer’s own website. One way to make sure the NPN is part of that transaction is to start by going through the life change update reporting process on HealthCare.gov, and then going to the insurer’s website, officials said.
If a producer starts with the HealthCare.gov change reporting tool, “his or her NPN will be generated on the enrollment transaction sent to the issuer,” officials said.
If an exchange plan issuer thinks HealthCare.gov dropped NPN information for a producer who meets HealthCare.gov registration requirements, the issuer can pay the commissions associated with the missing NPNs, officials said.
You’re invited to join us on Facebook.