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Local Insurance Agents Say 'Obamacare Enrollment Team' Reflects Poorly On Industry

RGVI_Gunter1.jpg
LHatter
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WFSU News
Bart Gunter, VP Rodgers, Gunter Vaughn Insurance Agency

The state of Florida is investigating the marketing activities of a South Florida insurance agency. The inquiry comes after representatives of the agency posing as agents of the federal government held a town hall-style meeting on 'Obamacare' in Tallahassee, but legitimate insurance groups say activities like that give agents a bad name.

“As WellU, we want to move out to people, go to where people are gathering , so this information is confusing on its own, so we want to take it to the people so they can understand and get their questions asked in as casual a way as possible," said Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance Agency Vice President Bart Gunter.

The WellU academy in Tallahassee is made up of insurance agents, health care groups, financial planning professionals and small businesses. Its aim: educate people about the Affordable Care Act and how the law applies to them.

RGVI and the WellU academy will host a town hall meeting Wednesday in Tallahassee. The event was already scheduled before another group of insurance agents from South Florida, calling themselves the "Obamacare Enrollment Team” began targeting churches in largely minority neighborhoods in the capital and spreading misinformation about the Affordable Care Act. The group is backed by the Fiorella Insurance Agency, which represents insurance companies. Gunter says those types of activities reflect poorly on insurance agents, who have a legitimate role in the health insurance marketplace:

“The saddest part is, the people who need it the most, that are lining up in our emergency rooms for their healthcare aren’t getting the message.”   

State officials are now trying to determine if the Obamacare Enrollment Team broke the law. Complaints against it and the Fiorella Insurance Agency have been filed in Florida and Illinois. Concerns have also been raised about the group’s marketing activities in Michigan.

The WellU Academy Consists of:

  • Bart Gunter, Executive Vice President,  Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance
  • John Howard, Vice President and Senior Benefits Consultant, Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance
  • Bill Hambsh, CEO, North Florida Women’s Care
  • Tom Harrison, CEO, Tallahassee Primary Care Associates
  • Gloria Pugh, President/CEO, AMWAT Moving Warehouse and Storage
  • Jim McShane, Executive Director, WORKFORCE Plus
  • Beth Corum, Chief People Officer and President, Capital City Services Company

The WellU Town Hall will be 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the TCC Ghazvini  Center across from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn .

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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