The number of registered brokers and agents who help people sign up for coverage through the federal ACA insurance exchange continued to decline in 2018, despite the CMS' efforts to encourage their participation by making it easier for them to sign up customers during open enrollment.
The number of agents and brokers participating in the Affordable Care Act open enrollment for 2018 dropped 24.8% to 49,100 from more than 65,300 during open enrollment for 2017 coverage, according to a CMS report released Monday. Since open enrollment for 2016 coverage, the number of registered agents and brokers has fallen by 38.3%.
Health insurer exits from the exchanges, expensive member premiums and limited commissions for those who enroll individuals in exchange plans have driven brokers and agents out of the market, the CMS said. The agency's strategy to encourage shoppers to seek help from brokers while giving brokers more tools to engage consumers failed to stem the exodus.