The government is looking for more than 250,000 agents and brokers who want to work through the new federal health insurance exchange system (HIX), and seeking public comment about the information it will collect from those producers.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will provide more information on how producers can work with the exchanges in a notice to be published in the Federal Register on Feb. 14.
The notice is required under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 that requires federal agencies to allow public input when CMS begins a new major initiative.
See supporting documentation here: HHS Agent-Broker Information Collection
Online health insurance exchanges in each state are mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and must be “live” by Oct. 1 so consumers can begin buying health insurance that begins coverage on Jan. 1, 2014. On that day, all Americans must be covered by some form of health insurance (private or government-sponsored), as required by the sweeping federal health reform legislation.
More than half the states have defaulted to an exchange run by the federal government. Those that will be part of the Federally Facilitated Exchanges (FFEs) include Pennsylvania, New Jersey Virginia and 23 other states. Delaware will operate an exchange in conjunction with CMS.
Maryland and New York, along with 22 other states and Washington, D.C., will create and operate their own exchanges.
CMS is seeking comments on its plan to collect information about the agents and brokers that will go through the FFE registration process. It has 254,095 as the number of producers who will register to be part of the exchange.
Information collected by CMS will include name, license status, issuer appointments, and training and continuing education information, as well as other pertinent information.
“CMS will use the collected data for oversight and monitoring of agent/brokers to ensure compliance with the ACA provisions,” the CMS/HHS document said.
CMS will also provide training and exams through an online Learning Management System (LMS), which will track producer training history and allow that information to be shared with the health insurance exchange.
Producers will likely have to register annually, and CMS estimates it will take nearly five hours to complete the registration process.
Comments will be due 60 days after the Federal Register is published.