Filed Under:Your Practice, Regulatory

Agents question Covered California numbers

Managers of the state-based Covered California public exchange now say they’ve certified 2,304 exchange agents.

That’s more than doubled from a week ago, and up from fewer than 400 around Oct. 7.

Anne Gezi, California's Small Business Health Options Program manager, says the exchange has a total of 18,203 registered exchange agent hopefuls in the pipeline. The exchange started training a total of 13,619 agents, and 3,543 agents passed the certification exam.

Exchange officials included those activity figures in a collection of board meeting packets. They noted that one of the agent outreach challenges they face is improving the agent agreement completion process.

Some California agents wonder whether the exchange certification numbers are accurate.

The California exchange ZIP-code-based agent search feature has been offline, and some California agents have written to say they’re aware of only a few agents who’ve succeeded at getting certified.

Elsewhere in the exchange board meeting packets, officials reported that the exchange has received 128,818 applications during the first three weeks of enrollment operations.

The exchange is not giving weekly application figures, or any figures on actual plan enrollment, but officials say the average daily volume telephone call volume fell to 7,518, in the third week, from about 13,000 in the first week, and that the average caller wait time dropped to 45 seconds, from 12 minutes.

The exchange has had trouble with certifying exchange helpers other than agents. The exchange has certified just 426 of the 1,705 registered plan-based enrollers, for example, and just 390 of the 4,555 registered certified enrollment counselors.

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