The head of Health Agents for America (HAFA) says the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) used unfair methods to assess the honesty of U.S. health insurance agents.
B. Ronnell Nolan, HAFA’s president, has blasted the GAO’s new agent performance report in a HAFA Live update video.
The GAO recently had undercover investigators call 31 health insurance agents. The investigators pretended to have pre-existing conditions. Eight of the agents steered the callers toward short-term health insurance or other products other than individual major medical insurance, when the agents clearly should have encouraged those callers to buy individual major medical coverage from an Affordable Care Act (ACA) public exchange program, according to the GAO.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., responded to the GAO report by saying that regulators should hold companies and brokers that steer consumers to the wrong types of coverage accountable, by putting people in jail, according to an article about the report in The Hill.
Nolan said in the HAFA Live video that attacking the reputation of all agents based on the performance of eight agents in a 31-agent sample was wrong.
- A copy of the HAFA Live video is available here.
- A copy of the GAO health agent report is available here.
- A copy of an article about the GAO health agent report is available here.
Louisiana alone has about 10,000 health insurance agents, Texas has about 30,000 agents, and California has more than 100,000 agents, Nolan said in the video, which is available on YouTube.
“This government agency called 31 agents,” Nolan said. “Thirty-one.”
To get a good idea of what agents and brokers do across the United States, the GAO needs to use a sample bigger than 31 people, Nolan said.
“We [agents] work hard,” Nolan said. “Since the ACA was passed, we lost our commissions. In many states, we are paid zero, and people are still working hard to sell insurance to consumers, and to help clients. But we are continuously brought down, and criminalized.”