Thursday, April 28, 2016

NAHU *almost* gets it

Full Disclosure: I was a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) for many years and was, in fact, co-founder of my local chapter. That being said, I am generally ill-disposed towards most so-called agent associations, because - by and large - they tend to represent the carriers more than the agents. On the other hand, the organization's current president has a background as an actual agent, which lends some legitimate cred to his latest offering on why some carriers have decided to forgo paying commissions on business written after Open Enrollment ended.

Here's his take:

"Carriers are cutting out their brokers because they don’t want to sell their policies."

And that, in a nutshell, is exactly right: carriers lose money on virtually every policy they sell, particularly those sold on-Exchange (primarily because the vast majority of these are subsidized).

And he goes on to (quite correctly) point out the value that agents bring to the table (which is, of course, part of his job). And that's what we call "necessary, but insufficient;" that is, it's demonstrably true that the agent adds value in sorting through all of the options, calculations and decision-making. But I don't hear Mr Goldmann calling out state DOIs to investigate what's happening to those unpaid commissions. As we've pointed out, they are priced into the products already, a separate calculation from MLR, etc.

Instead: crickets.

Well, Mr G?

[Hat Tip: EBA Magazine]
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