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How Health Insurers Want to Change Things Now

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America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has put out a major package of proposals for improving the U.S. health insurance system — including one that could, possibly, lead to support for insurance agents and brokers.

The Washington-based group suggests that one way to cut the cost of individual major medical insurance would be to expand enrollment, to make sure that younger, healthier are in the pool of people paying premiums.

AHIP has two ideas for expanding the individual major medical risk pool.

One is to make use of an existing, but unused, Affordable Care Act provision that could let health plans provide premium discounts for enrollees who participate in wellness programs.

The other is to have managers of — the agency that provides ACA public exchange services in states without locally run exchange programs — send some of the issuer user fee money they are collecting to the states. The states could then use that cash to pay for “a defined list of marketing and outreach activities.”

(Related: Should Say How It’s Using Insurers’ Cash: AHIP)

The list of marketing and outreach activities could include “support for navigators or other in-person assistance.”

AHIP does not use terms such as “agent,” “broker” or “sell” anywhere in its proposal package.

But it’s possible that some state funding for in-person assistance could go to agents, brokers and producer support programs.

Many states with state-based ACA exchanges have used exchange money to pay for agent and broker outreach efforts.

Nevada, a state with a state-run exchange that is temporarily using the account enrollment and administration systems, has paid agents and brokers cash grants to encourage them to provide exchange users with in-person assistance.

The AHIP proposal package also includes a number of other ideas, such as curbs on balance billing, support for the use of telehealth services, an increase in health savings account options, the creation of new reinsurance programs, and the repeal of the ACA tax on health insurers.

A complete version of the AHIP’s proposals is available here.

— Read Some ACA Exchanges Discover They, Um… Need You…on ThinkAdvisor.

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