It’s not easy being an insurance broker these days, as they try to cope with the many challenges involved with the most complicated enrollment season for the ACA since the first enrollment season in 2014. It’s ironic in a way, as Kaiser Health News reports, because Obamacare was meant to be so consumer-friendly as to make insurance brokers passé.
Part of this has to do with the Trump administration's hostile attitude to the navigator program that was meant to help people get the coverage they need and can best afford. Funding was cut; for instance Ohio navigator funding was cut 71%, to the point where state officials could not field navigators at all.
Nationwide, “the Department of Health and Human Services appears to be turning to brokers to fill this gap,” KHN reports. “It announced in late October that the federal online marketplace, healthcare.gov, has a new resource under its ‘Find Local Help’ tab. Consumers can enter their contact information in the ‘Help On Demand’ feature—and get a call back from a state licensed broker.”
John Dodd, president-elect of the Ohio Association of Health Underwriters, tells KHN that “this move of working more with brokers will help make up some of the difference [from losing the navigator program], although anytime you remove help, that’s not a positive step.”
Source: Kaiser Health News