Vermont will hold Affordable Care Act exchange broker compensation levels steady in 2017.

Vermont required all sales of individual and small-group coverage to pass through its Vermont Health Connect exchange in 2014 and 2015, but it began letting residents enroll directly in coverage through the carriers this year. This year, the Waterbury, Vermont-based exchange has helped about 75,000 people sign up for coverage for 2016.

The default broker compensation rate for 2017 will be $20 per month per individual enrollee, and $20 per month per employee covered by an employer-sponsored plan, officials say in a broker compensation notice.

The default rate is the same as in 2016.

When the exchange opened for business for the 2014 open enrollment period, exchange managers raised agent and broker eyebrows by setting broker compensation at $17 per month per individual applicant. 

At that time, Vermont exchange broker compensation levels looked low. This year, many insurers have reduced or eliminated commissions for individual and small-group sales, especially in the individual exchange market, and Vermont’s $20-per-month default rate is looking more attractive.

Related: Agents ponder health comp cut response 

In June, the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Health Underwriters offered a convention session on how benefits advisors can reduce their dependence on sales commissions by collecting services from clients.

Vermont lets agents and brokers adopt a fee-based approach to compensation.

“A mutually agreed upon compensation schedule, negotiated in good faith between a broker and a customer, represents a compensation schedule that allows the broker or agent to be appropriately compensated for their assistance and services; and may contain a monthly fee that differs from the default monthly fee listed above,” according to the 2017 compensation notice. 

Related:

5 top strategies for maximizing public exchange sales

3 important things PPACA exchanges are saying about you

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