§ 155.220Ability of States to permit agents and brokers to assist qualified individuals, qualified employers, or qualified employees enrolling in QHPs.
(a)General rule. A State may permit agents and brokers to—
(1) Enroll individuals, employers or employees in any QHP in the individual or small group market as soon as the QHP is offered through an Exchange in the State;
(2) Subject to paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section, enroll qualified individuals in a QHP in a manner that constitutes enrollment through the Exchange; and
(3) Subject to paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, assist individuals in applying for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions for QHPs.
(1)Web site disclosure. The Exchange or SHOP may elect to provide information regarding licensed agents and brokers on its Web site for the convenience of consumers seeking insurance through that Exchange and may elect to limit the information to information regarding licensed agents and brokers who have completed any required Exchange or SHOP registration and training process.
(2) A Federally-facilitated Exchange or SHOP will limit the information provided on its Web site regarding licensed agents and brokers to information regarding licensed agents and brokers who have completed registration and training.
(c)Enrollment through the Exchange. A qualified individual may be enrolled in a QHP through the Exchange with the assistance of an agent or broker if—
(1) The agent or broker ensures the applicant's completion of an eligibility verification and enrollment application through the Exchange Web site as described in§ 155.405;
(2) The Exchange transmits enrollment information to the QHP issuer as provided in§ 155.400(a) to allow the issuer to effectuate enrollment of qualified individuals in the QHP.
(3) When an Internet Web site of the agent or broker is used to complete the QHP selection, at a minimum the Internet Web site must:
(i) Disclose and display all QHP information provided by the Exchange or directly by QHP issuers consistent with the requirements of§ 155.205(b)(1) and § 155.205(c), and to the extent that not all information required under § 155.205(b)(1) is displayed on the agent or broker's Internet Web site for a QHP, prominently display a standardized disclaimer provided by HHS stating that information required under § 155.205(b)(1) for the QHP is available on the Exchange Web site, and provide a Web link to the Exchange Web site;
(ii) Provide consumers the ability to view all QHPs offered through the Exchange;
(iii) Not provide financial incentives, such as rebates or giveaways;
(iv) Display all QHP data provided by the Exchange;
(v) Maintain audit trails and records in an electronic format for a minimum of ten years.
(vi) Provide consumers with the ability to withdraw from the process and use the Exchange Web site described in§ 155.205(b) instead at any time; and
(vii) For the Federally-facilitated Exchange, prominently display a standardized disclaimer provided by HHS, and provide a Web link to the Exchange Web site.
(4) When an agent or broker, through a contract or other arrangement, uses the Internet Web site of another agent or broker to help an applicant or enrollee complete a QHP selection in the Federally-facilitated Exchange, and the agent or broker accessing the Web site pursuant to the arrangement is listed as the agent of record on the enrollment:
(i) The agent or broker who makes the Web site available must:
(A) Provide HHS with a list of agents and brokers who enter into such an arrangement to the Federally-facilitated Exchange, if requested by HHS;
(B) Verify that any agent or broker accessing or using the Web site pursuant to the arrangement is licensed in the State in which the consumer is selecting the QHP; and has completed training and registration and has signed all required agreements with the Federally-facilitated Exchange pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section and§ 155.260(b);
(C) Ensure that its name and any identifier required by HHS prominently appears on the Internet Web site and on written materials containing QHP information that can be printed from the Web site, even if the agent or broker that is accessing the Internet Web site is able to customize the appearance of the Web site;
(D) Terminate the agent or broker's access to its Web site if HHS determines that the agent or broker is in violation of the provisions of this section and/or HHS terminates any required agreement with the agent or broker;
(E) Report to HHS and applicable State departments of insurance any potential material breach of the standards in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, or the agreement entered into pursuant to§ 155.260(b), by the agent or broker accessing the Internet Web site, should it become aware of any such potential breach.
(ii) HHS retains the right to temporarily suspend the ability of the agent or broker making its Web site available to transact information with HHS, if HHS discovers a security and privacy incident or breach, for the period in which HHS begins to conduct an investigation and until the incident or breach is remedied to HHS' satisfaction.
(d)Agreement. An agent or broker that enrolls qualified individuals in a QHP in a manner that constitutes enrollment through the Exchange or assists individuals in applying for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions for QHPs must comply with the terms of an agreement between the agent or broker and the Exchange under which the agent or broker at least:
(1) Registers with the Exchange in advance of assisting qualified individuals enrolling in QHPs through the Exchange;
(2) Receives training in the range of QHP options and insurance affordability programs; and
(3) Complies with the Exchange's privacy and security standards adopted consistent with§ 155.260.
(e)Compliance with State law. An agent or broker that enrolls qualified individuals in a QHP in a manner that constitutes enrollment through the Exchange or assists individuals in applying for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions for QHPs must comply with applicable State law related to agents and brokers, including applicable State law related to confidentiality and conflicts of interest.
(f)Termination notice to HHS.
(1) An agent or broker may terminate its agreement with HHS by sending to HHS a written notice at least 30 days in advance of the date of intended termination.
(2) The notice must include the intended date of termination, but if it does not specify a date of termination, or the date provided is not acceptable to HHS, HHS may set a different termination date that will be no less than 30 days from the date on the agent's or broker's notice of termination.
(3) Prior to the date of termination, an agent or broker should—
(i) Notify applicants, qualified individuals, or enrollees that the agent or broker is assisting, of the agent's or broker's intended date of termination;
(ii) Continue to assist such individuals with Exchange-related eligibility and enrollment services up until the date of termination; and
(iii) Provide such individuals with information about alternatives available for obtaining additional assistance, including but not limited to the Federally-facilitated Exchange Web site.
(4) When termination becomes effective under paragraph this paragraph (f) or paragraph (g) of this section, the agent or broker will not be able to assist any individual through the Federally-facilitated Exchange, and the agent's or broker's agreement with the Exchange pursuant to§ 155.260(b) will also be terminated through the termination without cause process set forth in that agreement. The agent or broker must continue to protect any personally identifiable information accessed during the term of either of these agreements with the Federally-facilitated Exchange.
(g)Standards for termination for cause from the Federally-facilitated Exchange.
(1) If, in HHS's determination, a specific finding of noncompliance or pattern of noncompliance is sufficientlysevere, HHS may terminate an agent's or broker's agreement with the Federally-facilitated Exchange for cause.
(2) An agent or broker may be determined noncompliant if HHS finds that the agent or broker violated—
(i) Any standard specified under this section;
(ii) Any term or condition of its agreement with the Federally-facilitated Exchange required under paragraph (d) of this section, or if the agreement with the Federally-facilitated Exchange under§ 155.260(b) is terminated;
(iii) Any State law applicable to agents or brokers, as required under paragraph (e) of this section, including but not limited to State laws related to confidentiality and conflicts of interest; or
(iv) Any Federal law applicable to agents or brokers.
(3) HHS will notify the agent or broker of the specific finding of noncompliance or pattern of noncompliance, and after 30 days from the date of the notice, may terminate the agreement for cause if the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of HHS.
(4) After the period in paragraph (g)(3) of this section has elapsed, the agent or broker will no longer be registered with the Federally-facilitated Exchange or able to transact information with HHS
(h)Request for reconsideration of termination for cause from the Federally-facilitated Exchange.
(1)Request for reconsideration. An agent or broker whose agreement with the Federally-facilitated Exchange has been terminated may request reconsideration of such action in the manner and form established by HHS.
(2)Timeframe for request. The agent or broker must submit a request for reconsideration to the HHS reconsideration entity within 30 calendar days of the date of the written notice from HHS.
(3)Notice of reconsideration decision. The HHS reconsideration entity will provide the agent or broker with a written notice of the reconsideration decision within 30 calendar days of the date it receives the request for reconsideration. This decision will constitute HHS's final determination.
(i)Use of agents' and brokers' Internet Web sites for SHOP. For plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, in States that permit this activity under State law, a SHOP may permit agents and brokers to use an Internet Web site to assist qualified employers and facilitate enrollment of qualified employees in a QHP through the Exchange, under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.