The head of California’s state-based health insurance exchange says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should think about changing HealthCare.gov agent and broker compensation rules.
Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, says HHS should “research the value of potentially setting a minimum commission amount, so issuers are contributing at least a similar portion of premium to this important enrollment channel.”
Insurance company executives have argued that suspending active marketing of exchange plans in the middle of the year is just about the only defensive measure they can take when they learn that the exchange plans they are offering are drastically underpriced.
Lee says HealthCare.gov requires exchange producers to tell consumers about all available exchange coverage options.
Setting producer compensation standards is particularly important given the requirement that agents tell consumers about all of the available HealthCare.gov plans, not just the plans from the issuers that pay commissions, Lee says.
Lee made the recommendation in a letter he sent Friday to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. Covered California included a copy of the letter in a board meeting packet.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an arm of HHS, recently asked for comments on proposed PPACA program benefit and payment parameters for 2017. The parameters would apply directly only to HealthCare.gov, the exchange system that HHS set up for states that are unwilling or unable to handle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange enrollment process.