California brokers face certification delays

Producers say consumers need help getting through the fog. (AP photo/Eric Risberg) Producers say consumers need help getting through the fog. (AP photo/Eric Risberg)

California brokers are fighting to get the final certification they need to enroll individuals and small groups in the public exchange.

Covered California requires participating producers to pay $58, attend in-person classes, complete a Web course and pass an online test.

At least some of the producers who’ve completed the online exam found they haven’t received official certification. One agent reported that it isn’t even clear whether any California broker successfully graduated as a Covered California certified agent.

The producers have heard reports the California Department of Insurance is still reviewing their apps, and some say they feel as if they’re a low priority. 

Exchange reps and the department weren’t immediately available for comment.

Kevin Roberts, a Northern California broker who’s had trouble getting final certification and heard from colleagues facing similar challenges, said that his understanding is that for consumers to add a producer as the broker of record later, the consumer would have to re-enroll in coverage.

The Covered California enrollment site has been working reasonably well, but, when health insurance is involved, “people’s brains freeze up,” Roberts said.

Many consumers will need real help, especially to understand the exchange’s provider networks, Roberts said.

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