Survey: Health Insurance Brokers

Credit Suisse surveyed 62 health insurance brokers selling thousands of policies to small group and Medicare Advantage insurance markets across the country during the annual selling season and open enrollment periods.

According to the broker respondents, the percentage of employers offering telehealth benefits in 2020 is 47.2% as compared to 41.8% in 2019. Separately, the percentage of employers offering second opinion/expert opinion benefits in 2020 increased 80bps at Y/Y at 27.4% as compared to 26.6% in 2019.

These results are in line with our takeaways from our 2020 Employer Benefit Guides review at Unlike the large group market, the small group employer market is still relatively less penetrated with respect to both telehealth offerings as well as second opinion offerings.

According to the survey, the broker respondents noted that on a weighted average basis, 2.8% of enrolled Medicare Advantage customers decided to switch to Medicare Advantage plans during the Open Enrollment Period in January-March of 2019

When Credit Suisse researchers asked how the recent updates to the Medicare Plan Finder Tool has impacted business this year vs the prior year, 30% of respondents believe that recent updates negatively affected business, while only 16% of respondents believe that the updates positively impacted their business.

When asked about broker commissions in the off-exchange small group market for 2020 as compared with the prior year, about 86% of survey respondents reported broker commissions in the off-exchange small group market as stable Y/Y.

Roughly 14% of respondents noted that commissions in the small group market were lower as compared with last year, while none reported higher Y/Y commissions. Results were very similar to last year’s survey where around 80% of survey respondents reported Y/Y stable broker commissions.

Cigna was the only health insurer where brokers (13% of respondents) flagged higher broker commissions in 2020 vs 2019. Anthem was seen by the greatest number of brokers (14% of respondents) as having lower commissions Y/Y in 2020.

As for the Medicare Advantage Market, as compared to the prior year, 33% of respondents believe that broker commissions are going to be higher in the Medicare Advantage market for 2020. In 2019, 18% or respondents believe broker commissions were higher while 3% believe broker commissions were lower than that of the prior year.

To watch the video on HCIT Related Takeaways from Credit Suisse’s survey of Health Insurance Brokers, go to  Please email Jailendra Singh at for further information.

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