Blue Shield of CA fires broker for selling CDHP with funding

In recent times, health plans in California have started to warn their brokers that it wasn't kosher to sell high-deductible plans with other forms of insurance or funding to cover the deductible. Now, Blue Shield of California has terminated a broker for taking just such an action, a move that is now being scrutinized by the state's Department of Insurance. Southern California broker Bill Goldstein was terminated by Blue Shield last month for selling a small employer a $3,000-deductible Blue Shield plan, presumably along with some other form of financing designed to help employees meet their obligations.

Several plans, including Blue Shield of California, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross, have sent letters to insurance brokers threatening to terminate the broker's contract and withhold commissions if brokers sell so-called "wrap-around" packages to employers. Brokers, some of whom have been protesting such policies, say that all they're doing is helping their clients provide a policy that both employers and employees can afford. The health plans, meanwhile, say that the high-deductible plans don't make money unless consumers are forced to bear the initial cost of care and make careful decisions. None of the plans, however, have released figures indicating how high-deductible plans perform when consumers don't bear all of the first-dollar coverage, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

To learn more about the dispute:
- read this Sacramento Business Journal article

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