Marty Berger is a customer service specialist who is on call around the clock and frequently meets with his customers on health care issues. Last July, one of Berger’s customers called him at 8:30 p.m. in a panic.
Berger’s client had kidney cancer and had just found out a new prescription that could help save her life was going to cost her out-of-pocket more than $2,200 a month (after insurance). Berger met with his client that same night, at 9 p.m., researched new options and helped his client find a new insurance plan that would save more than $30,000 over the next 18 months.
If you haven’t guessed, Berger is a licensed, independent insurance agent. That night, Berger was simply doing his job. But that could change if state-based health insurance exchanges are established as suggested by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Consumers would receive guidance on their insurance options through the exchange only from non-licensed “health insurance navigators” during normal business hours. Licensed agents like Berger would not be allowed to become a “navigator.”
If “navigators” are not licensed, who would ensure consumers are protected from fraudulent practices and non-trained salespeople?
Isn’t this an interesting piece of information. Don’t forget to leave me a comment on what you think about the post.
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