The individual health insurance market continues to rapidly change. We continue to be committed to helping our clients navigate these decisions, but will need to charge some fees to be able to maintain our high level of service. Please see below for details:
As we come into the open enrollment season, we are still adapting to the rapidly shifting changes in the individual health insurance market that have been caused by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These changes have so far impacted under 65 (non-Medicare) individual (non-group) plans.
The upheaval that began in 2014 has continued to unfold. In the past year alone, we have seen dramatic shifts in the marketplace. United Healthcare, the country’s largest carrier, has announced their complete withdrawal from the Missouri market, along with nearly 30 other states. Aetna/Coventry will no longer participate on the exchange, and will offer limited plans off of the exchange. Cigna and Anthem have announced the complete removal of commissions, and a drastic reduction in commissions respectively.
From a broker standpoint, we were notified by all major carriers that we would no longer be paid commissions after the 2016 Open Enrollment Period ended for new policies. As of today, the policies placed during that time will not be paid commissions for the life of the policy. Cigna will no longer pay brokers commissions at all. Since February 1st, we have charged advisory fees to all new clients due to no longer receiving direct compensation from the carriers.
As we approach the 2016 Open Enrollment period, we are still unsure of if we will be receiving compensation from all carriers, and if so, how much. Those that have released commissions have cut them drastically from years past, in some cases, with as much as an 80% reduction. This environment obviously makes running a business very difficult, and has made it impossible for us to commit as many resources to this market as we would have liked to if the market was stable.
Based on our experience, our leadership roles in the local brokerage community, and conversations with both carriers and brokers, we expect to see a large reduction in the number of brokers in the individual, under 65 space. A recent survey from Benefit Pro magazine cited 70 % of brokers surveyed believe that the efforts of working with ACA individual plans is not worth the compensation paid for these policies.
Going forward, we will charge an advisory fee to all NEW clients ranging from $150 for one-time advice to $500 for family coverage with ongoing assistance.
For new clients – please click on this link to see the arch-brokerage-advisory-process
For CURRENT ARCHBROKERAGE CLIENTS (either individuals or families): For all current Arch Brokerage clients, we will only charge a $100 fee if you would like us to perform a market survey and make a plan recommendation. This fee will be due before any quotes, analysis, or provider searches are completed. We are also providing a self-help option that will allow you to utilize some of our technology resources and maintain a service relationship with Arch Brokerage at no cost. To begin this process, please complete the fact finder information by following this link: https://archbrokerage.com/individual-fact-finder/. An invoice will be emailed shortly after receiving this form, and you can make payment by credit card, check, or by Paypal account.
Our position at this time is to remain cautiously optimistic about the future of individual health markets. We will continue to provide the same level of service we always have for existing customers. We will provide this at no charge to those members that would like to remain on their existing plans. For those that would like us to survey the market, we will charge an upfront fee to cover the cost of the time to research and review these options.
This link will allow you to quote, estimate subsidies, do doctor searches, and even enroll in plans available ON the exchange. We pay a fee each time someone submits an application, but that person will remain tied to Arch Brokerage in the future and we will be able to view their policies. No fee is charged for the self-help service.
We will be continuing to provide excellent service to all existing clients with no upfront fee. If you want to keep your plan, you do not need to act.
If you want us to review your options, we will collect $100 advisory fee before beginning this process. Click here to provide specifics on your family, needs, and online payment. https://archbrokerage.com/individual-fact-finder/
If you want to review options on your own, we will make available the tools and resources to do so. Please click here to go to our self-quoting tool: https://www.healthsherpa.com/?_agent_id=joseph-bottani