2016 Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs and Brokers

Section 5: Assister and Broker opinions of the ACA

Assister Programs and brokers were asked, in general, how the third Open Enrollment compared to the second.  Both acknowledged improvements: 65% of Assister Programs and 55% of brokers said OE3 went much better or somewhat better than OE2.

In addition, this year the survey asked both Assister Programs and brokers to rate the ACA overall on a scale of 1-10, with 10 signifying the law is working perfectly and 1 that it is not working at all.  Respondents were also offered a menu of possible ways to change the law and asked to select the top three changes they would recommend.

Assister Programs gave the ACA a rating of 6.5 out of 10, on average.  The top three recommended changes by Assister Programs were:

  • Reduce health plan deductibles and cost sharing (51% included this among top three changes; 23% named this change as their first priority);
  • Expand Medicaid eligibility in non-expansion states (32% named among top three changes; 16% designated as first priority); and
  • Expand subsidies (30% named among top three; 12% as first priority) (Figure 16).
Figure 16: Priority Changes to ACA Recommended by Assister Programs

Figure 16: Priority Changes to ACA Recommended by Assister Programs

Brokers gave the ACA a rating of 4.5 out of 10, on average.  Their top priority changes were:

  • Increase broker commissions (47% included among the top three changes; 20% named this as the top priority);
  • Repeal the law altogether (28% listed among top three changes; 20% as first priority): and
  • Reduce health plan deductibles and cost sharing (28% included among their top three changes; 6% named as first priority (Figure 17).
Figure 17: Priority Changes to ACA Recommended by Brokers

Figure 17: Priority Changes to ACA Recommended by Brokers

Section 4: Consumer Assistance by Health Insurance Brokers Discussion