Health insurers say that people who sign up outside of the end-of-the-year enrollment window tend to be sicker, drive up the price of insurance, and cost insurers more.

Insurance agent Cindy Holtzman was a little surprised by the notice from Bright HealthCare, one of the insurers that offer Affordable Care Act coverage in her area.

The company’s February note said its health plan sign-ups saw “extraordinary growth” — passing the “one-million-member mark” in the previous year — and tied that success to the good relationships it has with brokers. But, the note continued, the insurer wanted to “suspend growth during this special enrollment season” and thus would stop paying commissions to brokers who enroll new people in coverage starting April 1.

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