California Medical Insurance: Agent Commissions for Health Insurance

by John Hansen

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), agent commissions for health insurance have been drastically lowered by California health plans. This has threatened the livelihood of California medical insurance agents. It has also made them question how they can survive in this career in the new world of Health Care Reform.

With the institution of Obamacare in California, the amount of work that California medical insurance agents have to do and the amount of services they have to provide has only increased. While at the same time, broker compensation has only decreased. So agents are considering three main ways to maintain their income per hour.

1. Spend Less Time with Each Client

The California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) has said that 72% of the time, agents spend a lot of time with consumers. With decreasing agent commissions for health insurance, that means that the average pay per hour for agents is falling.

In order to increase income per hour back to previous levels, some California medical insurance agents have considered limiting the amount of time they spend with each client. If an agent makes $100 on an enrollment and works for three hours with a client, that comes out to $33/hour income. However, if the agent determines to only service a client for up to 1.5 hours, that potentially could double the income per hour.

2. Automation

Other California medical insurance agents are considering automation as a way of keeping income levels up. That may include online quoting and enrollment.

Automation might involve having clients use computer terminals where they can self-serve while an agent is available for support. In this way a broker could service multiple clients at the same time and thus increase his/her hourly income rate on agent commissions for health insurance.

3. Charge Fees

Other California medical insurance agents have considered charging fees for services related to health plan enrollment. That way agents could spend the time they want with each client while maintaining a certain level of income per hour. However, at this time it is illegal for California health insurance agents to charge fees directly to their clients. Broker health insurance commissions are currently required to be solely paid by the carriers.

Commissions by Health Plan

Use the following links to find information related to California medical insurance agent commissions for health insurance for the top health plans in California:


Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.

Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.

Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.

Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.