Agent frustration boiling over at elimination of commissions

Health insurance agents on Insurance Forums are understandably venting on a variety of threads this week about the dominoes falling relating to the elimination of commissions for IFP enrollments by carrier after carrier.

Here are but a handful of the dozens of posts on current threads in the Health Care Reform Forum – many excerpted from longer original posts. Please visit the threads below to learn much more about the impact these changes are having on agents or add your own comments.


Are you selling at 0% commission?

• I’m going to create a GoFundMe page. I work for donations now.

• Any Agent that works for $0 is a danger to themselves, a danger to their clients and a danger to the Agent community as a whole. What part of ZERO DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND????

• Assisting people to get on a State Plan or Medicaid is one thing, but to write private insurance at 0% is dumb… I have no problem turning down referrals and sending them to the exchange, if they want a 0 commission plan.

• I am not going to write business and take on potential liability for 0%, I started turning people down a week ago and will not look back. I have no interest in this business next year (I will not turn down renewal commissions for those already on a plan where the prior commission stream continues) unless there is enough compensation available to make it worth my time and aggravation.

• If someone calls and needs an Indy policy during SEP I tell them I only represent 2 local carriers (that are currently still paying SEP comp for now). If they want Humana, Aetna or United they need to go to

• I’ll help anyone that asks for help. That usually means friends, family & referrals from those people only. Blue Cross is still paying a little commission. I’m willing to look at plans & rates and give an opinion but not actually write the policy or commit to the follow up required to get the policy issued if I’m not getting paid.

Link to thread: Are you selling at 0% commission?


***Breaking***Houston We Have A Problem.

• So you have clients that have a 1-1 effective date and you’re counting on the commission for the entire year… think again. If the client has an SEP at any point and (Carrier has dropped commissions) updates the application with a new effective date outside of 1-1 you’ve just lost comp for the remainder of the year for that client.

Link to thread: ***Breaking***Houston We Have A Problem.


A Special Enrollment Period Will Allow a Consumer to Enroll

• What would you do in this hypothetical situation?

Jim just got laid off… no health insurance. He needs expensive Open Heart Surgery.

Carrier A – Stopped paying SEP commissions

Carrier B – Still pays 6% commissions

Both companies have a Gold plan that is identical in every way.


[Next post says “the one you get paid for…”]

Are you sure? The company that still pays agents doesn’t need or deserve this +$100,000 medical claim. You’d be biting the hand that feeds you. But the company that stopped paying us…

Link to Thread: A Special Enrollment Period Will Allow a Consumer to Enroll


BCBS-NC Just killed SEP Comp

• [Thread begins with this letter from BCBS-NC] “Dear BCBSNC Producer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has decided to eliminate commissions for individual under-65 plans sold with start dates of April 1, 2016 through December 1, 2016. This was not a decision we took lightly given the impact it will have on our independent, appointed agents across North Carolina. Other insurers in our state had already made this decision, and we need to level the competitive playing field to ensure customers are not directed to us based on commissions…”

• Now there are no carriers on the exchange in NC that will pay comp for SEP business…time to work on my golf game…or look for another niche. “Turn out the lights…the party’s over…”

Link to Thread: BCBS-NC Just killed SEP Comp


Anthem-BCBS of GA Joins the Crowd

• [Thread begins with this letter received by the OP] As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual health insurance market evolves, we must evolve with it to continue delivering value and affordable coverage to our customers. With that in mind, we’ve had to re-evaluate our commissions for certain individual member enrollments…

• Well looks like they shut off the SEP valve from the Agent channel, now if they could just figure out a way to shut it off from the channel…

• …be advised that the ship is sinking a little more every day. None of us are guaranteed safety. Get your lifeboat inflated and ready to go sell something else…

Link to Thread: Anthem-BCBS of GA Joins the Crowd


Did You Enjoy Being a Health Insurance Broker?

• I think 2016 is our last year either by carriers eliminating commissions or by them lowering commissions anymore where it’s not worth it. That being said no shock to most of us, this was predicted.

Link to Thread: Did You Enjoy Being a Health Insurance Broker?