Brokers take another hit.
BCBS TX joined Aetna, Cigna, and Anthem cutting their brokers’ commission rates to 0% on any health plan sold through agent websites or Agent NPN#s with the federal or state exchanges. This is not good news for any licensed agents in Texas trying to help consumers with individual (non group) insurance. The middle class will become even smaller due to ACA (Obamacare) unintended consequences. Carriers lack the distinct advantage of being able to print money in the basement.
Big industry and the government would rather see all consumers call into a massive call center. Heck, maybe we can outsource the center overseas during next year’s Open Enrollment. You know those three months of the year folks have to wait on hold 2 or more hours so someone can tell them “it is an HMO.”
My name is Mark Roden, PhD. My friends call me Dr. Obamacare. (Not really) The fact that more and more insurance companies are trying to further kill the independent insurance agent should come as no surprise. Lets just hope a few of them survive. It will certainly get rid of the weak & greedy agents. Selling health insurance right now is like signing up to be a medical concierge. Wow. Just today I spent about 45 minutes talking with a sweet lady who just got diagnosed with some form of aggressive cancer 4 days ago. We went over ALL her options and I realized she was yet a another victim of The Marketplace. You know where you can call and get a “Navigator.” Oh, I love those cars. I actually owned two. Lovely cars. NOT LICENSED INSURANCE AGENTS. As Austin Powers would say, “How convenient.” Since when did it become legal for unlicensed insurance agent trying explain In-Network, Out-of-Network, copay, Coinsurance, out of pocket max, deductible, and coverage for pregnancy? Oh I know, under the Affordable (giggle) Care Act.
Many agents will have to be forced to switch to fee for service or learn to appreciate the fine taste of dog food.
Don’t worry the great American Spirit will prevail once again. We always do. There will be solution out there for the lean and sleek insurance agent. As my friend, Tony Jeary would say, “you better be providing value at every point” and “over deliver.”
If you need help with anything insurance please call me or just call the fine folks over at 1-800-F1UCK YO
Hey another Austin Powers Reference.