An open letter to Senator Monning
Open letter to Senator Monning
I have attached the new 2018 commission structure Blue Shield of CA just provided. I have several hundred people that I am meeting with at this time. We review plans, rates, benefit options and even review their income to help them make the proper health insurance choices. I also assist during the year with reviewing EOB’s, prescriptions, reminders to pay past due bills, submit documentation to Covered CA as requested, etc.
I sit down with clients when they are diagnosed with diseases to help them find the best doctors and hospitals for their treatments. I have cried with clients when a loved one has passed away.
Since Blue Shield is the only carrier being offered in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties I have no other option for clients at this time and am forced to accept a Blue Shield commission rate. If I had known about this a few months ago I would have taken time to decide if I even wanted to offer health insurance any longer.
In 2003 I sold a business and decided to get an insurance license in 2004 as I enjoy working with and helping people. Financial services was something I had always wanted to do and I take a holistic global look when helping people to make sure all their needs are met. I used to think I would work to age 70 or longer. Now I am wondering if I would be better off retiring in a year or two when I turn 60. A 1% commission doesn’t cover the overhead of my business. It’s not enough to pay rent, E&O insurance, my assistant etc.
The way Covered CA and insurance companies are now working is morally and ethically wrong. They (you, Covered Ca, Blue Shield) want to use the expertise of an insurance agent and have us work for less than minimum wage while also bearing a fiduciary standard to help the public. Something needs to happen or agents will look for and support an ACA repeal and replace. I had hoped that both parties would look at the ACA and make some changes to improve the system. The way were going now the system will get worse and fail. With no competition Blue Shield has a monopoly and your office as well as Covered CA need to accept some responsibility and help find a solution. At this time I will continue to assist my clients with their enrollments. However during the year when they call needing help I will have to refer them to your office, Blue Shield and Covered CA as I cannot afford to work for nothing.
Would you still be a Senator if all you were offered as compensation was minimum wages?
David A. Ion
San Luis Obispo County Insurance Agent
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