To the extent permitted by states, licensed agents and brokers may assist consumers in applying for qualified health plans (QHPs) and insurance affordability programs including premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. They play a crucial role in educating consumers about the Health Insurance Marketplaces, both during annual open enrollment and throughout the coverage year.
Some states have set up a State-Based Marketplace, while other states work with the federal government in a State-Partnership Marketplace or Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM). Agents and brokers can help consumers, no matter what state the consumers live in, as they apply for and choose insurance options. Agents and brokers who wish to participate in the FFM must first complete a two-part registration process (see “Registration for the Federally-facilitated Marketplace” below for more information on this requirement). This page contains resources for agents and brokers who are assisting individual market consumers in the Marketplaces, as well as small group market employers and employees in the Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs).
News for Agents and Brokers is an electronic source of information for Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) agents and brokers. As with other communications to our Agents and Brokers, this monthly newsletter is disseminated electronically to Agents and Brokers on our e-mail listserv. We are committed to keeping agents and brokers informed about upcoming webinars/trainings, registration resources, relevant guidance and regulations, important announcements, and other useful information. Please take a moment to read the latest issue.
Weekly Updates for Agents and Brokers Assisting in the FFM for Plan Year 2016 Open Enrollment
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting weekly “Operational Updates and Announcements for Agents and Brokers Participating in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace” webinars throughout the Open Enrollment period to provide key updates and announcements related to Open Enrollment, reminders of upcoming critical deadlines, and highlight relevant program content. Webinars are held on Tuesdays from 3:00–4:00 PM ET (please see www.REGTAP.info for the full schedule).
To register for any of these sessions, please log in to www.REGTAP.info and complete the following steps:
If you require assistance with webinar registration, you may contact the Registrar at 800-257-9520 or registrar@REGTAP.info. The registrars are available by phone from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET, Monday through Friday. Registration closes 24 hours prior to each event.
Key Open Enrollment Resources
CMS hosted a webinar session on October 14 to provide an overview of FFM Open Enrollment for plan year 2016 as well as highlight new agent and broker support for plan year 2016. The session also provided tips on the “Find Local Help” feature on HealthCare.gov, tips from the Marketplace Call Center, information on working with Assisters and Navigators, and information on understanding the consumer. Lastly, the session covered periodic data matching and the process for ending qualified health plan coverage.
CMS hosted two webinar sessions on November 3 and November 5 to provide key Open Enrollment dates and reminders as well as information on how to prevent duplicate applications; the new provider lookup tool on HealthCare.gov, and resources for agents and brokers to use throughout Open Enrollment.
CMS hosted two webinar sessions on November 10 and November 12 to provide key Open Enrollment dates and reminders as well as information on how to ensure National Producer Numbers (NPNs) are retained on new enrollments and renewals for plan year 2016; guidelines for agents and brokers working with assisters and Navigators; and responses to key agent and broker FFM registration, training, and eligibility questions.
Plan year 2016 FFM agent and broker registration and training is now available on the CMS Enterprise Portal at https://portal.cms.gov. Training is offered by CMS on the new Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS) in English and Spanish, as well as through the CMS-approved vendors listed here in English.
For information on how to complete FFM registration and training for plan year 2016, see below.
All agents and brokers participating in the FFM must complete registration on the CMS Enterprise Portal at https://portal.cms.gov (i.e., create an FFM user account, select the agent/broker role, and complete identity proofing) if they have not done so previously.
To continue participation in the Federally-facilitated Individual Marketplace each year, agents and brokers must also complete a Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS) profile, complete the required training and exams, and execute the Individual Marketplace Agreements (i.e., General and Privacy & Security Agreement). To begin this process, agents and brokers must log in to the CMS Enterprise Portal at https://portal.cms.gov with their existing credentials.
To continue participation in the SHOP Marketplace each year, agents and brokers must also complete an MLMS profile and execute the SHOP Marketplace Agreement, and are strongly encouraged to complete the associated training and exams. To begin this process, agents and brokers must log in to the CMS Enterprise Portal at https://portal.cms.gov with their existing credentials.
For plan year 2016, agents and brokers can complete the CMS-developed training on the MLMS or through a CMS-approved vendor. Agents and brokers will access both the CMS-developed training and CMS-approved vendor training via the CMS Enterprise Portal. For more information on the CMS-approved vendors, click here.
• August 2015
FFM Agent and Broker Plan Year 2016 Registration and Training Slides
CMS hosted three sessions of the “FFM Agent and Broker Plan Year 2016 Registration and Training Requirements” webinar on July 22, July 29, and August 19, 2015. The webinar slides contain an overview of the role of agents and brokers in the Health Insurance Marketplaces, details on the FFM plan year 2016 registration and training requirements, and information on the CMS-approved vendor training option.
• September 2015
Guidance on Plan Year 2016 FFM Registration and Training for Agents and Brokers
CMS hosted seven sessions of the “Guidance on Plan Year 2016 FFM Registration and Training for Agents and Brokers” on September 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, and 25, 2015. The webinars slides walk through the steps for the new registration process, give a brief overview of the SHOP Marketplace, and describe the new option to complete training through one of the CMS-approved vendors.
• October 2015
Quick Reference Guide – Plan Year 2016 FFM Registration for Agents and Brokers
The Quick Reference Guide and the registration and training videos are resources designed as a guided tour to assist agents and brokers with understanding the new plan year 2016 FFM registration and training process on the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS) and via the new vendor training option.
FFM Agent and Broker Plan Year 2016 Registration and Training Videos
Important: Agents and brokers previously registered with the FFM should start at Step 4 and use their existing FFM user ID and password.
Step 1 – Creating an Enterprise Portal Account
Step 2 – Navigating to the Registration Status Page
Step 3 – Completing Identity Proofing
Step 4 – Accessing Training Options
Step 5 – (Vendor Training Option) – Completing FFM Registration After Completing Training with a Third-Party Vendor
CMS is pleased to announce that it has approved the following vendors to offer plan year 2016 training to agents and brokers participating in the FFM:
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP): for more information go to https://www.ahipexchangetraining.com/file.php/1/public/About.html
Gorman Health Group (Gorman): for more information go to http://www.exchangebrokertraining.com/about
National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU): for more information go to http://www.nahu.org/education/ffmtraining/index.cfm
Completion of a training curriculum, including the associated exams, through one of the above CMS-approved vendors will fulfill the FFM training requirement for agents and brokers registering to participate in the Individual Marketplaces for plan year 2016. CMS-approved vendors are required to cover, at a minimum, the same topic areas as are covered in the CMS training, and pursuant to 45 CFR § 155.222 are required to offer continuing education unit (CEU) credits in a minimum of five states where the FFM is operating. The number of CEUs and the states where they are available vary by vendor. Vendors charge a fee for taking their training.
If you complete FFM training through a CMS-approved vendor, you will still need to execute the applicable Agreements with CMS on the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS) prior to assisting consumers seeking to enroll in health coverage through the FFM.
CMS-approved vendor training can be accessed via the CMS Enterprise Portal at https://portal.cms.gov/.
If you require assistance with any of the CMS-approved vendor training options, please contact the vendor’s help desk directly:
This list contains the National Producer Numbers (NPNs) for agents and brokers who have completed FFM registration for the 2016 plan year as of 11/5/15. CMS posts this list twice each month, reflecting registration data as of the date of the list. NPNs can be searched by clicking the arrow in cell A2, or by using the “Ctrl + F” (or “Command +F) keystroke. All NPNs are self-reported by the agent or broker during FFM registration, and should be validated against state and/or other NAIC records to confirm state licensure.
This list contains the National Producer Numbers (NPNs) for agents and brokers who have completed FFM registration for the 2015 plan year. CMS posts this list twice each month, reflecting registration data as of the date of the list. NPNs can be searched by clicking the arrow in cell A2, or by using the “Ctrl + F” (or “Command +F) keystroke. All NPNs are self-reported by the agent or broker during Part I of FFM registration, and should be validated against state and/or other NAIC records to confirm state licensure.
FFM registration for plan year 2015 expires on 11/12/15. Agents and brokers should complete FFM registration for the 2016 plan year by 10/31/15 if they wish to assist consumers with plan year 2015 special enrollment periods (SEPs) and plan year 2016 Open Enrollment beginning 11/1/15.
Plan Year 2014 Registration Completion List [XLSX, 2.2 MB]
This list contains the National Producer Numbers (NPNs) for agents and brokers who have completed FFM registration for the 2014 plan year. All NPNs are self-reported by the agent or broker during Part I of FFM registration, and should be validated against state and/or other NAIC records to confirm state licensure.
FFM registration for plan year 2014 expired on 9/30/2014.
A web-broker is an individual agent or broker, a group of agents and brokers, or a company that is interested in providing a non-Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) website to assist consumers in the qualified health plan (QHP) selection and enrollment process as described in 45 CFR.§ 155.220(c)(3). FFM web-brokers must meet CMS’ regulatory and technical requirements and establish an Internet website with an Application Program Interface (API) connection to the FFM.
This list contains the names of web-brokers participating in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) who have signed 2016 Web-broker Agreements with CMS and completed FFM registration for the 2016 plan year. This list contains web-brokers whose requirements have been verified as of November 4, 2015. CMS will update this list on a periodic basis.
When assisting individual market consumers in completing the eligibility application and enrolling in health care coverage online through the FFM, an agent or broker may use one of two pathways:
When assisting employers and employees in completing the eligibility application and enrolling in coverage online through the SHOP Marketplace, an agent or broker will use the SHOP Marketplace Agent/Broker Portal.