Ever since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, benefits brokers and agents have had to make major adjustments to their business to account for lost health insurance commissions and renewals. Some called PPACA the death knell of the profession. Others rolled up their sleeves and vowed to soldier on.
But in Arkansas, brokers and agents discover there’s money to be made in health insurance again, thanks to a pioneering program between the federal government and the state that’s come to be known as the “private option.”
“This is such a deviation from the original plan that this was a real surprise to the policy people in Washington,” Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford says. “So this is an innovative approach and the feds saw that. As it unfolded, they saw that this is a real possibility to deliver these services to people in some of the states.”
So far, around 105,000 people in Arkansas have elected to buy health insurance through the private option. Estimates by the Arkansas Insurance Commission say that up to 250,000 people qualify for plans under the private option — a big pool of new customers for brokers and agents across the Natural State.