Question: How can a two-day training course prepare so-called “Assisters” to help people choose the right health insurance coverage? I am a licensed agent with eight years experience selling both individual and small-group health insurance in California and I am sometimes confused by the endless benefit choices and financial trade-offs?
Answer: I share your concern. Covered California just published a draft of the training curriculum for assisters. While the outline certainly looks comprehensive, I believe the proficiency of the assister will vary greatly depending mostly on their after-training experience. At one end of the spectrum, you have the assister who goes to work in a call center surrounded by experienced assisters and supervisors and deals with many applicants every day. Obviously, this assister will retain and put into practice much of what they’ve been taught. At the other extreme, an assister who only works with a handful of applicants in the first few months after training will retain very little of the training. The same could be said of agents. An agent who typically works with small groups will be in a whole new world when it comes to assisting enrollments in Covered California.