As healthcare shoppers scramble to make sense of coverage options in the days leading up to the Dec. 23 deadline, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to give Americans a hand.
HHS should allow states to disclose the names, phone numbers and business addresses of producers certified to sell insurance through the state or federal exchange, NAIC said during its fall meeting in Washington, D.C.
NAIC was urged forward by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers, which requested the group write to the HHS in support of the idea.
“We think it’s important to have the names of navigators, agents, CACs, made available, especially in a rural states where there’s a real challenge to find people who are able to help consumers enroll in health plans right now,” said IIABA representative Wesley Bissett.
Martin Swanson, counsel to the Nebraska Department of Insurance, said the Nebraska insurance agency had tried to publish such a list, but was prevented by a privacy restriction from the HHS.
“We were not able to release those names,” Swanson said. “It makes perfectly good consumer sense to have that list published.”
The call comes as the HHS starts to wrap up the end-of-the-year healthcare applications, which are due by next Monday. Premiums for the first month should be paid in full by Jan. 10—an extension from the previous government deadline of New Year’s Eve.