Understanding the Potential Role Web Brokers Can Play in State-Based Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already greatly expanding individual health insurance coverage, particularly among lower-income uninsured individuals. However, this is neither easy nor inexpensive to sustain, and it will require ongoing, effective public-private partnerships on multiple levels. One potential partnership opportunity is with “web brokers” who sell individual health insurance online, functioning as private distribution channels in a fashion similar to the new Marketplaces and offering a choice of health plans from multiple insurers, while relying primarily on websites and call centers for customer service. This brief, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions and Wakely Consulting Group, seeks to understand the role that web brokers might occupy in this continuously developing landscape, and is intended as a tool for State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs) to investigate potential opportunities for partnerships with these entities.