Clients Being Told They'll Get Referral Fees for Enrolling Friends in O-care

Jan 29, 2016

  1. cadylou
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    cadylou Guru

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    One of my clients got this a few days ago:

    HealthNetwork Health Insurance Referral And Affiliate Program

    It was sent to her in a personalized e-mail encouraging her to refer friends to the site to enroll in Obamacare & that she'd be compensated in referral fees. How is this legal, while companies cut commissions to agents down to 0%? Are there no rules at all anymore?
     
    cadylou, Jan 29, 2016
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  2. bluediamond
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    I have no idea anymore. If someone refers someone to me and we have an arrangement the agency pays referral fee only have having a copy of their state insurance license and W-9.

    I think that might be ok if they didn''t say for each enrolled. If they gave $50 out for each referral to everyone regardless of whether enrolled or not, might be legal.

    This is one of many reason's the compliance will look like MAPD very soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  3. RayNY
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    So, what's to stop a broker from registering and giving themselves a $50 bonus for every app they write? (Except for NY people like me, because they won't pay for any NY referrals)

    I skimmed the T&C, nothing disallows it. As far as I can tell, it just pushes them to hc.gov.

    Company is not an agent/broker, implying they aren't BOR'ing policies.

    Fee is given for *submission*, not enrollment. They need a w-9 on file. They reclaim all fees if you don't withdraw it by 3/31/16.
     
    RayNY, Jan 29, 2016
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  4. cadylou
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    cadylou Guru

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    Still totally weird. . . .do they really think the average person is going to file a W-9 with them? . . . .
     
    cadylou, Jan 29, 2016
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  5. RayNY
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    Yes.

    People will do almost anything for $50.
     
    RayNY, Jan 29, 2016
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  6. mwoodbrid
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    mwoodbrid Expert

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    It looks like they are passing the enrollments to brokers and carriers directly, and likely getting compensated that way. From their CEO's statement linked here: A note to those with concerns about HealthNetwork or their partners | ACASignups.net

    So though they claim not to be a lead-gen company, they're basically a lead-gen company.
     
  7. yorkriver1
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    There are 8 million stories in The Naked City, and this is one.....
     
  8. RayNY
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    Interesting. If they receive commissions and pay the fee, it's a violation of rebating laws. If they receive the lead, pay a referral fee, and then charge a lead fee, it's legal.

    NY treats it a bit differently, hence the reason they don't support it in NY only. It's not due to SBE status as other SBE's are included.

    Things are starting to make sense.
     
    RayNY, Feb 1, 2016
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