Filed Under:Health Insurance, Individual Health

When can HHS exchange assisters sell door-to-door?

HHS exchange assisters can educate consumers door-to-door, officials say.
HHS exchange assisters can educate consumers door-to-door, officials say.

The people who give federal public exchange users in-person assistance can sell exchange plans and services door-to-door, as long as they use a low-key approach.

Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) talk about the rules that govern exchange assisters' activities in a recent issue of a newsletter that goes out to exchange navigators and certified application counselors.

The rules apply directly to helpers at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) -- the parent of CMS. The rules may also have some direct or indirect effect on helpers at the state-based exchanges.

HHS exchange assisters cannot just go door-to-door to offer consumers they don't know help with exchange applications and enrollment, officials say. If consumers ask assisters to come to their homes to help with the exchange application process, assisters can go to those consumers' homes.

Assisters can go door-to-door to educate consumers about the exchange system and the exchange application process, officials say.

What if assisters provide exchange education door-to-door, and consumers ask the assisters for exchange application help? CMS officials give this advice:

...if an assister is providing outreach and education materials, and a consumer initiates a request for application or enrollment assistance, the assister may provide the requested assistance at that time, or schedule a follow-up appointment.

The CMS exchange helper newsletter is not readily available to the public, and CMS does not send it to agents. Health Agents for America (HAFA), a group for agents and brokers, has been getting the newsletters from sympathetic exchange helpers and forwarding the newsletters to HAFA members.

See also: Exchange reports on door-to-door sales

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