Fascinating HBJ article on role, challenges for brokers in AccessHealthCT

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The Hartford Business Journal reports on the experiences of CT’s insurance brokers in  the success of AccessHealthCT. Brokers have assisted about 35% of the 90,000 current members enroll in coverage, but they are not universally supportive of the exchange. Challenges include technology problems and system failures, no reimbursement for helping people eligible for Medicaid, and the lengthy, complicated application process. Despite receiving commissions of $16/month for individuals and $40 for small businesses, many say they the business is not profitable. Those commissions add up to $500,000/month paid by insurers, and ultimately consumers. Rep. Scott, a broker, has proposed a bill requiring all AccessHealthCT sales go through a broker. He maintains that engaging brokers to help everyone apply could replace declining federal funding to the exchange for enrollment and marketing costs.