grovester wrote:When our company first dropped their plan, they brought in a broker to help the employees through the enrollment process. The brokers pitch was, if you don't need the subsidies you don't need to sign up for Obamacare, we offer the same policies outside the ACA for the same rate. I assumed the broker got a better commission.
I wonder how many people this would add up to, and does it make the ACA pools more expensive?
Good question. I don't know, but I use the ACA marketplace because it is more straightforward than going through a broker. If I was told there was a pool of much better plans, a much better price, or another compelling reason to look outside of the marketplace, I'd look into it, but I have confidence the plans offered through the marketplace have minimum coverage and other regulatory requirements. Perhaps I'm just naive and lazy, but its really simple and still gives me options, just like going through Kayak.com instead of using a travel agent's word cuts out the bias. I'm okay with limiting my search to the options available, and there are still gold and platinum rated plans on the ACA. It's not like they only offer poverty-level plans. My current plan is better than what I had with my previous employer, just that I have no subsidy as I did with my employer paying half. I think that is part of the sticker shock for some is they don't realize the dollar value of the benefits they previously received.
I've gone through a broker before, and they basically just gave me a single option and I had to take their word for it. I have no idea if it was the best option or an upsell for a kickback deal. The experience was very much like my auto insurance. I get something mailed to my house that says it's what I owe, and I hope the random agent my family has used for a long time is giving me a decent deal (which is a cycle I have fallen into and have accepted - need to break that btw). It's why people don't use travel agents anymore unless it is someone they really trust or they don't care about saving money. Seeing all of the prices in one place and comparing the information makes me feel like I have more control and makes me more informed about my choice.