ABCs of WBEs: How You Can Benefit from a Web Based Entity

Posted: May 4, 2016 - By: Alphonso Sanchez - Software and Technology

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to the creation of more acronyms in health care during the past five years than, perhaps, in the last 10-20 years. One of the newer acronyms is WBEs, which refers to Web Based Entities and sometimes, alternatively, to Web Broker Entity.

So, what is a Web Based Entity?

It’s an organization that has been awarded a Federally Facilitated Exchanges Web Broker Entity (FFE WBE) Agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS is the federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that is responsible for administration of health care reform under the ACA.

WBEs are certified by CMS to connect consumers directly with the federal health insurance exchange,, and federally facilitated, federally supported, and partnership exchanges in the states that did not set up their own state-based marketplaces.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, as of April 2016 there are:

  • 12 state-based marketplaces
  • 16 state-based marketplace-federal platforms
  • 6 state partnership marketplaces
  • 28 federally facilitated marketplaces

Operating under strict security guidelines, including the 135-page Minimum Acceptable Risk Standards for Exchanges (MARS-E), WBEs help states reach their ACA enrollment goals and help brokers assist more consumers in finding the health insurance they need.

WBEs are held to the same security standards as a state-based exchange and are subject to CMS audits and process documentation requests on demand. If a WBE fails to comply with federal guidelines, it can result in substantial fines.

CMS review and certification occur annually and the list of 2016 approved WBEs includes more than 80 organizations, including Quotit and its sister company, HealthCompare Insurance Services.

What’s in it for you?

WBEs offer independent, licensed agents – of every size, in every state – the ability to help consumers enroll in the federal exchange and dozens of federally facilitated and partnership marketplaces.

Quotit’s current roster of licensed users includes thousands of insurance professionals from coast to coast as well as several national Web Broker Entities assisting consumers looking to enroll in the online marketplaces nationwide.

Quotit was first awarded a Web Broker Entity Agreement with CMS in 2013.

Since that time, agents and brokers from across the country have signed on to use Quotit to help their individual and family plan prospects and customers find and enroll in coverage that meets their specific needs and satisfies the ACA individual mandate.

If you’re considering affiliating with a WBE to expand your service to clients in your area, it’s important to consider everything the partnership might offer you.

For example, not all WBEs deliver online enrollment capabilities; in fact, only about 20 percent have this ability.

Quotit does offer online enrollment – to the federal exchange, federally facilitated marketplaces, and carriers that offer plans outside of the exchanges.

Other benefits of choosing Quotit as your WBE partner include:

  • Rates and information for a range of carriers and plans – including off-exchange coverage
  • Single sign-on access to carriers simultaneously for both on- and off-exchange plans
  • Portfolio diversity: Medical, Medicare Supplement (Medigap), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) as well as Short Term Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, Critical Illness, and Accident coverage
  • Accurate, up-to-date online quoting and enrollment nationwide
  • Secure technology and compliance adherence expertise
  • Cross-Sell Engine – you set your own rules to suggest other products to your website visitors based on what’s already in their shopping carts
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and automated marketing tools
  • Quote, application, and conversion tracking

Turn more prospects into customers

Quotit can help you attract and write more business during the ACA Annual Open Enrollment (November 1 through January 31), during Medicare’s Annual Election Period (October 15 through December 7), and throughout the year if your client qualifies for a Special Enrollment Period. Click here to learn more.

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