The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that private insurance agents were responsible for enrolling nearly 40% of California Obamacare enrollees.
“Agents deserve credit. They brought in big numbers,” Consumer Union Special Projects Director Betsy Imholz told the Times. “They are sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the enrollment world.”
According to the Times, insurance agents enrolled 525,633 Californians through April of this year. With the state offering a $58-per-enrollee fee for every successful application, that means taxpayers shelled out over $30 million in the form of kickbacks to insurance agents.
The insurance salespersons also receive commissions, raising concerns that some agents may have steered customers into plans that benefit their bottom line, not the customer.
“Agents might guide people to some plans on what they’re paid in commissions,” said Imholz, “rather than what might be the best choice for the person.”