Enrolling in a health insurance plan can be a daunting and complicated task. That’s one reason that Insurance Brokers are a critical part of the health insurance enrollment process. Brokers are licensed knowledgeable experts who provide valuable—and free—assistance to clients, helping to ensure they enroll in the best plan possible for their unique health and financial circumstances.
A recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that consumers who reach out to brokers have a limited understanding of Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements and benefits and have difficulty understanding basic insurance terms. Brokers play a critical role in educating these consumers, so they better understand their coverage options.
As a real-life example, we can look at Idaho’s state exchange, Your Health Idaho. Brokers have played a key role in consumer enrollments through the exchange. In fact, 70 percent of enrollments through Your Health Idaho are done with broker assistance. Interestingly, consumers that enroll with brokers tend to have coverage longer than those who do not—80 percent of Idahoans with nine years of consecutive coverage have worked with a broker.
Nationwide, Plan Year 2023 Open Enrollment Period generated record-breaking numbers with 16.4 million individuals enrolling in health coverage—many through brokers. Now, with the Public Health Emergency (PHE) unwinding in full swing, the number of individuals needing help has increased. All ACA Exchanges can leverage their broker community to engage with individuals to minimize any gaps in coverage during the unwinding. But state-based exchanges offer brokers additional tools and resources to reach customers.
The GetInsured state-based exchange platform provides advanced tools specifically designed for brokers, including mobile technology, to provide consumers with a seamless and accessible enrollment experience and simplified year-round support in multiple languages. For example:
- The application process is streamlined with GetInsured’s system, which allows a broker to be linked to a household and access consumer information for enrollment assistance. This relationship remains intact unless the consumer or broker decides to end it.
- BrokerConnect enables consumers to find and connect with a broker in real time over the phone when they need help with their application. Brokers can set their availability to receive these calls and easily expand their client base.
- GetInsured’s broker mobile app empowers brokers to assist consumers while on the move, enabling them to promptly respond to consumer needs.
- Brokers can create tickets for themselves or on behalf of consumers to receive call center support, ensuring swift and efficient problem resolution. In contrast, brokers working with HealthCare.gov have expressed frustration with long call waiting times, which is one of their major challenges.
Brokers play a crucial role in assisting consumers, regardless of whether they are using a state-based exchange or HealthCare.gov. To access professional application and enrollment help from a broker, individuals can visit their state exchange website or HealthCare.gov.