Question: A recent news release from the DOI quotes Insurance Commissioner Jones saying: “The license approval for Covered California also provides a more efficient way for licensed agents to help consumers and businesses purchase health insurance through the Exchange, by allowing the agents to affiliate with the Exchange as opposed to obtaining appointments from each carrier selling health insurance products through the Exchange.” That seems so say that agents don’t have to worry about getting appointed with some of these lesser known carriers. Can you confirm?
Answer: Unfortunately I can’t confirm your assumption. I believe the Commissioner was referring to the SHOP exchange in the news release from which you quoted. In the SHOP, the Exchange pays the agent directly, so it stands to reason that being appointed with them is all you need. It would be tremendously helpful if the exchange provided a single path to appointments with all carriers in the individual Exchange as well. In fact, I’m pretty sure they said they would do so, but it was some time ago and I haven’t heard anything since.