What a difference a year makes… While Saturday is normally a day off for most insurance agents, this past weekend marked the beginning of the busy season for brokers who specialize in individual health insurance, and in contrast to the first day of last year’s open enrollment period, there were few problems reported with either the federal or state exchanges Saturday. That’s good news for agents, whether they’re selling through the government’s website or they’ve set up their own private exchange to enroll individuals and families in qualified coverage.
According to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who appeared on Meet the Press Sunday morning, about 100,000 people successfully completed applications for health insurance on Saturday, and about half a million successfully logged on to the site. This is in contrast to October 1, 2013 when the federal site, Healthcare.gov, crashed a few minutes after opening and only six people purchased coverage on day one.
Aside from the fact that the state and federal exchanges seem to be working, which is a must for agents with a private exchange since the subsidy application runs through those sites behind the scenes, there’s more good news. While the technology is working, consumers have reported long wait times when calling Healthcare.gov’s toll-free number. Broker-branded private exchange sites set up through Health Partners America, on the other hand, direct consumers to a world-class call center staffed with knowledgeable, licensed agents to get their questions answered and get help enrolling in coverage. This eliminates the need for brokers and their clients to sit on hold, hoping a government employee can answer their questions but knowing they probably can’t.
To learn more about HPA’s private exchange solution and how you can still profit from this year’s open enrollment period, click here. If you already have a private exchange site, stay tuned – we’ll be sharing updates and tips all week long to help make your selling season as successful as possible.