The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last week released three draft documents with new details on the registration and training process for agents and brokers who wish to sell health insurance through the federally facilitated exchanges. CMS is likely to begin registering and training producers on or around July 1, 2013.
The draft documents reiterate that agents and brokers will be permitted to enroll individuals and small businesses (SHOP exchange) in qualified health plans through the FFEs, as well as assist individuals in applying for subsidies for purchasing private insurance. In order to work within the FFEs, producers must first register with one, complete applicable training and sign an agreement.
Appendix A details the registration process. In order to begin, producers will need to input general information, such as name, date of birth, contact information, company name, national producer number, appointment data and what type of markets they wish to work in. Once registration is complete, the exchange will verify a producer's licensure status and issuer appointments.
The producer contact information collected will later be published on the FFE’s website—likely August 2013 for the individual markets and September 2013 for SHOP—in order to allow consumers to reach out to agents and brokers for assistance with enrollment.
Appendix B provides details on the training process. The document gives a general outline of the different training courses, along with estimates of the amount of time each training module will take to complete. Courses include FFE and Affordable Care Act basics, Individual Market, SHOP Market and API Access to the Exchange (for those producers who wish to use their own website to enroll consumers through the exchange). At the end of each module, the producer will take a multiple choice exam to determine competency. A sample question is provided at the end of the document.
CMS estimates the entire registration and training process will take 4.75 hours to finish, and must be completed annually.
Ryan Young is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.