Paper and more paper
A big question these days in the agent community is around who can help sell insurance in either the individual exchange or the Small Group exchange, also known as the SHOP exchange. Health insurance exchanges are supposed to be a place where an individual or a company with 2-50 employees can go to compare plans and figure out what to get. The California Exchange Board wants to limit who sells on the SHOP, as you can read here .
The bone of contention is 'selling' insurance--according to the California Insurance Code, 'transacting' insurance starts at handling an inquiry, running proposals, includes explaining plans and benefits, and making recommendations of what the consumer should consider buying. Then handling the paperwork and
any other running around involved in completing the transaction.
The individual exchange will have 'assisters' and 'navigators'--the SHOP will only have 'navigators,' because the Exchange wants to limit 'selling' to licensed agents and brokers. There can be a lot of work involved in setting up a group health plan. But these people are going to be explaining something. aren't they? So why is this NOT considered 'transacting' insurance?
Insurance agents for years have had web sites to run quotes, phone numbers to call for information, live people to help you understand it all. Now we have another set of people added on for that who supposedly 'can't' make recommendations. Does this sound like it's going to be more efficient and cost effective anytime soon? One can only hope.