As the Affordable Care Act was being drafted and then implemented over the past few years, NAIFA has worked hard to ensure that health advisors remain part of the system. Services and expertise provided by brokers and agents are important to consumers across the board, from small business owners trying to adjust to new requirements to individuals who have never had health coverage before and do not know how it works.
A recent New York Times article illustrates a problem faced by many consumers who did not consult a licensed advisor. Salwa Shabazz selected a low-premium plan on the federal marketplace after speaking with a marketplace customer service representative, the Times article says. Only after she was enrolled did she discover the plan has a deductible and requires copayments that are beyond her ability to pay.
But help is available. A recent survey of NAIFA members found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) had enrolled clients in health plans through either the federal or a state exchange or both. NAIFA members are trained and licensed. They are subject to continuing education requirements, and many have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and the health care system.
"NAIFA members are here to help," said NAIFA President John Nichols. "In fact, we've dedicated our professional lives to helping people understand complex insurance and fianancial matters. The ACA has altered the landscape of health insurance, so the expertise of NAIFA members is as important now as it ever was."