Thursday, January 28, 2016

A little birdie tells me...

In a mandatory meeting this morning, agents who represent Blue Cross of North Carolina learned that, as of April 1, they will receive zero compensation on any individual health insurance business. FoIB Jeff M tells me that his health insurance writing colleague immediately contacted the Tar Heel State's Department of Insurance with some questions. The conversation apparently went thusly:

Agent: "Now that Blue Cross will no longer be paying commissions..."

DOI Rep: "Wait, what? When did this happen?"

Agent: "Just learned about it an hour ago, takes effect April 1. So here's my question: may I charge a fee when selling a Blue Cross policy?"

DOI Rep: "We honestly don't know."


I'd have followed up with another question:

"Since these rates have all been pre-filed, and include commissions, will the Department require that either the commission be paid or the rates re-filed to reflect the lower cost?"

Regular readers know that the Kentucky Insurance Department recently ruled that "Failure to pay commissions in accordance with the rate filing will be considered a violation of the Insurance Code."

Based on the dismal results of the current Open Enrollment season, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year - and, indeed, the next season - goes with even less agent involvement.
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