EXp Realty has become the latest brokerage to offer its independent contractor agents an alternative healthcare plan to finding coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s open market place.
The virtual cloud-based real estate brokerage announced Monday it’s partnering with Clearwater Benefits, an 18-month old, Texas-based insurance startup for independent contractors that says it leverages group buying power to offer more affordable options.
“We heard from our agents that finding affordable health care is a challenge that detracts from their peace of mind and growing their businesses, which is why we’re so pleased to roll out eXp Agent Healthcare,” Jason Gesing, CEO of eXp Realty, said in a statement.
“At eXp, we are focused on our agents’ success, and providing access to the best possible health care aligns with our strategy to prioritize our agents,” Gesing added. “Our exclusive partnership with Clearwater means agents will have access to affordable, quality healthcare so they can focus on what matters most to them.”
Through eXp Agent Healthcare, agents will have access to a dedicated concierge that will help them obtain insurance and maximize their cost savings, the company said in a statement. Agents will also have access to Teladoc, a video conferencing startup that connects consumers to medical providers, which fits the company’s theme of working virtually.
“We are thrilled to partner with eXp Realty to provide thousands of agents across the United States with access to our affordable, innovative healthcare choices,” Jason Sherman, president and co-founder of Clearwater Benefits, said in a statement. “eXp is an innovator in the industry that cares tremendously about its agents. We anticipate many agents will experience significant savings and better care.”
Approximately 86 percent of Realtors in the United States are independent contractors, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), meaning that, in a land where employer-based health insurance reigns, most Realtors and agents are left to fend for themselves finding health care in the open market.
NAR also found that 14 percent of agents don’t have health insurance at all, and 57 percent found their coverage is too expensive, according to its 2018 member profile.
Despite a Trump administration ruling last year that paved the way for association health plans, NAR hasn’t been able to create a national solution for its members. However, local associations have begun working on solutions.