CMS let us know this morning that a huge NAHU priority for the federal exchange is going to be achieved at the start of open enrollment on Saturday. CMS is going to be able to implement a find an agent feature on healthcare.gov not only for the federal SHOP exchange, but also in the INDIVIDUAL market FFM for all consumers. As you all know, this is a priority that NAHU first raised with CMS last year and one that we have been consistently advocated for throughout the implementation of the marketplace. We knew we were successful on the agent search feature for SHOP for this year and that an individual market search feature was also a goal for CMS, but we weren’t sure CMS would be able to get the individual market piece done in time for November 15th. We are so thrilled to announce that they will be able to give agents and all consumers this improved functionality when the federal marketplace fully opens for business this weekend.
CMS is also going to be releasing some new documents for agents and brokers to help them with individual market enrollments this evening. We haven’t had a chance to fully look at them yet, but we did get a preview. It is our understanding that they will contain guidance to help brokers prevent NPN issues this time around and also better processes for agents who need to escalate client problems within the federal call center framework. There will also be a process for brokers to edit their contact information for the agent search feature (just in case it is not right) and we will learn how you can do that at a meeting with CMS in Friday. Furthermore, issues with the SHOP exchange and individual broker personal addresses and the use of military time are being resolved right away. It is CMS’s hope that they will be corrected by the 15th.