Elimination of commission payments in health insurance market 'unfair'

In a letter to members, NAIFA President Jules Gaudreau explained why recent decisions to reduce or eliminate commission payments to advisors in the health insurance market  are  “ill-advised, short-sighted and unfair.” 
 
“Decisions to cease commission payments on individual market policies sold after a certain date are ostensibly made to manage the costs of administering some health plans,” Gaudreau told members. “Ultimately, the elimination of commissions will cause great harm to consumers, as it will adversely impact consumer access to professionally licensed and trained financial advisors at a crucial time when selecting and purchasing health insurance coverage is more complex than ever. … These decisions are ill-advised, short-sighted and unfair.”
 
NAIFA is exploring options to aggressively address the issue with both the state and federal regulators.  
 


Comments
Linda Grant
As a consumer, I find myself calling my Insurance Agent John Gottschel at Coaching Financial Concepts every 6 months! My husband switched jobs and then was laid off and each time we had a move where insurance was at issue, John was called and he researched the best options for my family. John didn't ask us for compensation to help choose Cobra over a new plan, but we lay it forward by sending him our friends that are in need of insurance. Job goes above and beyond for us and ai can't imagine how he will keep,his agency afloat with commission. Obamacare on one hand may be good for the few, but not for the many and now it looks to destroy the livelihoods of agents who are historically working on the side of their life long clients. I hope you find a way to fight this. I value John Gotschell and I can't imagine how difficult it will be to research plans on our own. We need insurance agency advocates. Keep up the good fight!
5/5/2016 11:56:02 AM
Adam Mosbach
It sounds like the health insurance carriers no longer feel they need agents in the process. How do you force them to pay commissions? Isn't that their choice?
3/22/2016 7:48:56 PM
Melanie Parsons
There has never been a time when insurance agents were so critical to consumers' understanding of their health insurance options. In our agency, we have spent countless hours in online and classroom training, self-study, telephone calls and websites in order to help our clients (and others) understand the vast complexities of the health insurance arena. We believe that this is not just our occupation; it is our mission, to help those in our community.

Coupled with the added training, we are also being held to higher and higher levels of accountability, as well as State and Federal requirements, that constantly put us in financial and professional peril if we are found to be out of compliance.

The workload associated with selling and servicing health insurance during a shortened time frame creates stress on our staff; particularly now, when a large percentage of health consumers are required or choose to change plans every year. This does not begin to address the emotional toll on everyone involved when we are faced with 40% to 60% rate increases.

The commissions that we receive are minimal now; but we continue to provide the best service possible because we recognize the need. Consumers simply do not and cannot understand the complex world of health insurance. However, if we are asked to provide this level of service and accept the risk and exposure involved for no compensation, we will need to step back and determine whether this is a service we can continue to offer.
3/22/2016 11:29:51 AM