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Topics of interest to both consumers and agents related to Covered California and the ACA biased in favor of the successful implementation of the Exchange and deliberately apolitical.

Shorter Paper Application

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While some of us think applying for health insurance online is pretty cool, others can’t or won’t do it. That why the health insurance exchanges needs a good old-fashioned paper application. Unfortunately, the first attempt at a paper application for individuals and families was 21 pages long. Hardly consumer friendly. There were hoots and hollers. The length of the application was criticized openly by many in the industry, including the NAHU members at their annual DC conference in February.

Low and behold, within 3 months, the CMS has come up with a three-page application for individuals, while the application for families has been reduced by two thirds. CMS says “the consumer friendly forms are much short than industry standards for health insurance applications today.” Click the following link to view and/or download a advance copy of the new application. Ind Paper App.pdf

Consumers continue to lack awareness of how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. Up to two-thirds of the uninsured still say they don’t know what the ACA will mean for them. CMS has repeatedly said in recent weeks that brokers will play a crucial role in consumer assistance and education about the public exchanges for the uninsured and what ACA might mean for all Americans. CMS has said that broker training information will be available by August.

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