The HealthCare.gov public health insurance exchange system appears to have a smaller distribution network today than it had just a few months ago.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) recently posted a list showing that, on May 3, 62 companies were eligible to act as Web broker entities for HealthCare.gov.

In March, CMS said HealthCare.gov had 87 Web broker entities.

Related: HealthCare.gov Web broker list grows 10%

The number of Web broker entities listed appears to be the smallest since April 2015, when CMS said HealthCare.gov had 54 Web broker entities.

HealthCare.gov handles Affordable Care Act public exchange enrollment and exchange administration services for states that are unwilling or unable to provide exchange services for their own residents.

A Web broker entity can use its own website, or the site of another agent or broker, to enroll consumers directly in exchange plan coverage.

Getting access to the HealthCare.gov exchange plan pipes can help an agent or broker serve consumers who may be eligible for the ACA exchange plan premium tax credits. Only consumers who sign up for exchange plan coverage can use the tax credit subsidy to pay part of the cost of the coverage.

CMS did not discuss the decrease in the Web broker entity list update. Agency representatives were not immediately available to comment on the change.

Related:

Web brokers: We piped in 13% of HHS exchanges’ active enrollees

How Web brokers can share their HealthCare.gov pipelines

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