by Hyatt Erstad, NAIFA Government Relations Committee Chair
Few people understand health insurance better than agents and brokers. In 2013, as Idaho started the process of launching its state-based exchange, Your Health Idaho, NAIFA worked hard to ensure health advisors were incorporated into the system so consumers would have somewhere to turn for help and guidance.
Your Health Idaho chose to embrace the expert advice and added competition agents and brokers brought to the marketplace and during the first year of open enrollment they became a cornerstone of the exchange. When technology glitches with HealthCare.gov crippled many states' ability to sign people up for health insurance, Idaho kept moving forward by relying on agents and brokers and their ability to help clients fill out paper applications.
At the end of Idaho’s first open enrollment period, Idaho was third in the nation per-capita for the number of people who signed up for insurance on the exchange. Your Health Idaho credits agents and brokers for a large part of its success.
As Idaho’s second open enrollment period draws nearer, Your Health Idaho continues to encourage consumers to work with the state’s certified agents and brokers.
“With so many plans to choose from, we encourage Idahoans to find an agent or broker in their community who can help walk them through all the plans Your Health Idaho offers and determine which one is best for them,” Your Health Idaho executive director, Pat Kelly said in a release. “It doesn’t cost anything to work with an agent or broker so take advantage of their knowledge and expertise.”
Idaho is an example of the positive results that can be achieved when health insurance exchanges partner with the agents and brokers in their communities. The video below shows how valuable the relationship has been for Idahoans. NAIFA will continue to work with Your Health Idaho to ensure the partnership that exists in the state remains strong.