Under the Affordable Care Act, agencies and brokers have used something called the direct enrollment pathway to get clients' health insurance coverage on federal and state exchanges.
Under this program, agents initially had to redirect consumers from an agency’s website to HealthCare.gov to determine whether they were eligible for coverage and, if so, redirect them back to the agency’s own website, or the carrier’s website, to complete the enrollment process.
Although this approach certainly helped consumers who couldn’t figure it out themselves get health insurance coverage, it didn’t exactly provide the best user experience. Making matters worse, it wasn’t by any means efficient for the agencies and brokerages that were helping clients assess their insurance options.
In 2019, however, the direct enrollment program got an upgrade. It’s now called the enhanced direct enrollment pathway—and it delivers more value to clients and agencies alike.
What Is Enhanced Direct Enrollment?
Enhanced direct enrollment is a new health insurance pathway developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The advancement enables consumers to buy health insurance through federal exchanges without having to go directly to government-sponsored websites or call a government-run call center. Instead, consumers can shop for insurance on their favorite agency or broker websites and enroll in the plan that meets their needs most effectively—assuming, of course, the agency or broker partners with a platform that supports enhanced direct enrollment.
By partnering with the right platform and leveraging APIs, agencies and brokerages can “invisibly” connect to HealthCare.gov, which will then assess a candidate’s eligibility for exchange-based insurance.
What Does Enhanced Direct Enrollment Mean for Brokers?
The enhanced direct enrollment pathway promises a number of benefits for both healthcare clients and the companies they buy insurance from. Here are four ways enhanced direct enrollment will improve your agency or brokerage.
1. Enhanced customer experience
Instead of having to hop from site to site—or wait on hold to talk to someone at a call center—clients can shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage available on exchanges at their convenience. Thanks to real-time quoting tools, they are able to buy insurance throughout the day—even when your business has closed its physical doors.
By expediting the enrollment process and delivering instant gratification and personalized experiences, your agency or brokerage will strengthen the customer experience—which, over time, will help your business build a stronger reputation and land even more clients.
2. Increased productivity
Instead of having to guide clients from site to site and repeat the reasoning behind that over and over again, insurance sales agents can quickly enroll clients in their preferred health plans without having to do any repetitive tasks. What’s more, enhanced direct enrollment enables agents to upload and manage marketplace documentation, view the status of potential data-matching verification issues, and download communications from the exchange—all from one central location.
Add it all up, and agents are able to reclaim time, which can then be spent on other areas of business—such as selling to even more clients or focusing on different tasks that tend to be ignored.
3. Improved agent and broker morale
As the enrollment process becomes easier, team morale improves. By investing in modern tools, you prove to your team members that you care about giving them the tools they need to reach their full potential—and make their jobs easier.
Not only does this mean your agents will be in better moods and deliver better service to clients, but it also means your employees will be less likely to look for other jobs—which will help you reduce turnover costs.
4. Increased profitability
A strong customer experience, increased agent productivity, and improved team morale add up to strengthen your agency’s profitability.
With more money in the bank, your agency can focus on other initiatives—such as increasing marketing spend, improving website and SEO initiatives, expanding into a new territory with a new office, or adding new products to your portfolio, among other things.
In this light, enhanced direct enrollment can be a gateway toward supercharging your agency or brokerage’s revenue—making it that much easier for you to reach your goals.
Quotit: The Easiest Way to Plug into Enhanced Direct Enrollment
Enhanced direct enrollment serves as a great tool for agencies and brokerages like yours to improve the customer experience, increase agent productivity, enhance team morale, and bolster their bottom line.
To achieve the best results, your agency or brokerage must be ready to capitalize on this new program as we move into the upcoming open enrollment period.
The good news is that incorporating this new pathway into your company’s operations isn’t as hard as it might sound. In fact, with the right partner platform in place, you don’t need to do any coding to connect to HealthCare.gov’s API and take advantage of the new program. Keep in mind, however, that only certain platforms have been allowed to support enhanced direct enrollment. To take advantage of this program, do your due diligence and look for a platform that has been approved, like Quotit.
For more information on how Quotit can help your agency or brokerage get great results with the new enhanced direct enrollment program, check this out.