The National Association of Health Underwriters has been vocal in its support of several key fixes to the exchange enrollment process since the beginning of open enrollment. The organization has been in constant contact with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and, in December, NAHU worked with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) on a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to make vital improvements to healthcare.gov. NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein sent a public letter to President Obama asking him to address the backend technical difficulties hindering brokers who are trying to enroll clients on the federal exchanges. In January, NAHU also worked with Representatives John Carney (D-DE) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) as they drafted a bipartisan letter to Secretary Sebelius urging her to address many of the same issues. During NAHU’s Capitol Conference in February attendees were able to persuade 73 other members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, to sign onto that letter.
However, as of now, most of the improvements still haven’t been made. To that end, NAHU has worked with various members of Congress on a possible legislative fix. On Friday, Senator Mary Landrieu (D- LA) introduced two bills. The first bill, S. 2175, The Enhancing Access for Agents and Brokers Act, which was sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), calls on HHS to make key exchange changes that NAHU has been seeking on a regulatory basis for some time, including: a toll-free concierge hotline for broker enrollment and policy questions; a listing of all certified agents on healthcare.gov; a fix to a troublesome NPN issue; and a requirement that HHS notify the broker community of all policy changes relative to QHPS and exchange enrollment within five business days. The second bill, S. 2173, or the CHOICE Act, was introduced by Senator Mary Landrieu. It’s aim is to improve the direct enrollment process for independent agents, including making improvements that will allow independent agents better access to web-based entities.
We urge you to support these two bills by contacting your Senators and asking them to support S. 2175 and S. 2173 today!
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