In our December 31st blog post, we made a few predictions for 2014, starting with the warning that individuals with a January 1st effective date were likely to see some snags:
“A lot of plans go into effect Jan. 1, but it won’t be a smooth rollout. As with any effective date, people will be screaming because they don’t have their ID cards. And others will learn that their enrollment data was never transmitted to the carriers by HHS. It’ll take a while to sort out and the public’s frustration will create more bad publicity for the administration.”
Sure enough, it’s now mid-January, a lot of consumers are still having trouble accessing their benefits, and disapproval of the law is near an all-time high.
In a CNN article entitled Help! I can’t use my Obamacare benefits, author Tami Luhby details the troubles many people are having using their benefits or even getting through to their insurance companies. Some of the problems include no ID card, no ID number, members not being loaded into the system, carriers having no records of people’s enrollments, and long insurance company hold times.
Of course, anyone who uses a licensed agent when enrolling has someone they can call – that’s one of the benefits of working with a professional rather than trying to do it yourself. And any broker with an HPA private exchange has someone who can help with those customer service calls. Agents who divert leads to the call center can let them take care of these sorts of issues and help keep the customers happy, freeing up the broker’s time to do what he does best: meet with employers and help them understand how the ACA impacts them and their employees.