Updated: 01/16/2014 10:23 PM
Created: 01/16/2014 10:10 PM KSTP.com
By: Jay Kolls
Some insurance agents say they have been approved to offer health insurance policies through MNsure, have done the work, but not been paid commissions.
Brittany Olson runs Olson Insurance in North Branch. She tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she received her certification through MNsure to offer policies from the network to her clients. But, when she sold a Preferred One policy, Olson says Preferred One told her they would not pay her a commission because she "did not fit their criteria." Olson says other agents have told her similar stories.
Olson says the most frustrating part of the issue is, she says, MNsure has not told the certified agents they need a contract with the participating insurance companies in MNsure to get paid the commissions.
Olson says it is not on the MNsure web site and, she says, none of the MNsure staff members have ever told her she needed a separate contract with the HMOs to be eligible for payment.
Olson says this is bad news for consumers, too. Olson says it is possible for an insurance agent to have a contract with one HMO, but none of the others. Olson says an unethical agent could offer a more expensive policy with an HMO he, or she, has a contract with so they are assured they will get a commission. Olson says the customer might not ever realize they could have had a cheaper policy with an HMO the agent did not have a contract with.
MNsure tells 5 KSTP that agents must secure a contract with the HMOs before they can collect commissions.