Unsure about MNsure? Klein Insurance answers your questions.
1. What kind of training have you received to be considered a “MNSure Certified Agent?”
The first step to becoming a certified MNsure agent is to first be an insurance agent. This includes 40 hours of training as well as an additional 24 hours of continuing education every two years. MNSure then requires notification of our intent to partner with them and the completion of their agent training, which is an additional 4 hours. The training is what really sets insurance agents, such as myself, from other in-person assisters such as insurance navigators or certified application counselors. These two groups do not have to go through the required training that agents do. In addition we are regulated by the State Department of Commerce and our activities are overseen by them. We carry errors and omissions insurance which will help to indemnify individual consumers if we make a mistake, which is a service unavailable to the two groups of non-certified in-person assisters.
At the end of the day, our profession and career is helping people with insurance. I have 17 years of experience in helping people make choices, which is why we are skilled and experienced at doing so and understanding the nuances of insurance coverage and situations. As MNSure enters the market place and government changes affect insurance on a day to day basis, our qualifications enable us to better help the consumer make an accurate, informed and appropriate decision about their coverage options.
2. How do you separate yourself from and navigate through the confusion surrounding the signup process?
Over our years we have had many experiences in navigating enrollment procedures that were not well defined and needed further clarity, which proved true for MNSure. Through that experience we have learned to systematically dissect problems and find the root causes. We also have been very proactive in educating ourselves about the process and keep abreast of any new developments communicated through public and private channels. We have been continually testing enrollment procedures until we find the most efficient, effective and accurate processes. Through constant monitoring, regular testing and intensive training we have persevered through this process.
3. What are the benefits of using an agent/broker to sign up for health insurance versus doing it yourself on the website?
There are several benefits to using an agent:
1.We are experts at insurance. It’s what we do. As agents, we understand the intricacies and differences of coverage.
2. We will do the work for you. Don’t want to navigate a complicated website? We’ll do it for you! For free!
3. You pay the same price for the insurance whether you go on the website and do the work yourself, or have us do the work for you.
4. We understand the different attitudes and levels of service a person may receive from one insurance company to another. We already have a lot of experience working with the insurance companies and know who does it best.
5. We will help you not only during the sign up process but after you sign up. Once you are signed up if you have a question about a premium, a bill from a medical provider, a claim etc., we will help you sort it out.
6. We will continue to communicate with you throughout the years. We will make sure you know about any significant changes in healthcare laws and how they make affect you. We will suggest changes to your coverage when appropriate. We continue to be your advocate.
4. Do you feel confident the glitches in the MNsure website will be worked out? Do you think it will be smooth sailing going forward?
Yes, I think eventually things will go more smoothly. The quality of the user experience can vary widely from day-to-day, but I think that as time goes by, it will get better and better. I suspect that a year from now we won’t see anything like we have seen this fall. However, even though the website will be much easier to use at some point in the future, it will still be a great advantage to consumers to have an agent to assist them in selecting options that are right for them. Decisions about one’s health care coverage should not be made lightly or without well thought-out decisions based on information received from educated, trained and experienced professionals.
5. Is the website safe? Do you feel people need to be wary about their information being displaced?
It appears the state is taking the security of the website and personal information seriously. Although there have been some missteps along the way, the privacy and security of personal information on the website seems to now be taking a high priority and is of utmost concern to the MNsure administration. Although the information the website collects during the registration and enrollment process could indeed be misused if not properly guarded, most of the information is already available in other state and federal databases. I do not expect further data breaches to occur in the future.