Health agents: Open enrollment is over… now what?
As a leading independent IMO in the life insurance industry, my company partners with lots of agents/agencies who sell health insurance as well. Some focus primarily on health and dabble in life; others the exact opposite. Every year, we see these health folks largely go quiet with their life production during a certain time of year – that wonderful, often-maddening period known as open enrollment.
Sure, they still have a ton of clients to see, but their compensation for helping their health clients have been slashed dramatically. They’re still doing all of the work, but have much less to show for it when the grueling enrollment months are over.
It’s always the same story – during the long months of open enrollment, health agents may check in with us from time to time (or we check in with them), and they’re completely overworked and exhausted. It’s a hectic time for health insurance reps – so many people to see, and too little time to see them. Back in 2013, they were happy to be busy, as commissions were still very strong with health insurance, and we had many agents “making hay” while the sun was shining.
However, the drastic changes in the healthcare industry over the last couple of years have dampened those “hay-making” spirits. Sure, health agents still have a ton of clients to see, but their compensation for helping their health customers have been slashed dramatically. They’re still doing all of the work, but have much less to show for it when the grueling enrollment months are over.
Health agents coming into the life insurance industry have a huge leg up on other life agents – they already have a client base of health insurance clients to tap into and begin offering their life services.
Naturally, this has translated into great business for us in the life insurance industry, as many health agents are doing the math and realizing that marketing life insurance is an easy way to supplement their shrinking commissions from the health side. After all, they’re likely already licensed to sell life insurance – most states bundle health and life licenses together, so there’s no hoops to jump through to make the transition. All most agents and agencies need is a little proper training, and they’re ready to roll. Moreover, health agents coming into the life insurance industry have a huge leg up on other life agents – they already have a client base of health insurance clients to tap into and begin offering their life services.
So here we are. Open enrollment has come and gone for 2016. Those intrepid health insurance professionals have (hopefully) taken their R&R and gotten their feet back under them, and our phones are starting to ring with health agents wanting to grow the life insurance side of their business. One reason they choose Alliance Group for their life business is the fact we are the nation’s leader in Living Benefits life insurance – life insurance that allows their clients to access their death benefit while they’re still living if they suffer major illness, like cancer diagnoses, heart attack, strokes, etc. These exciting new products fit hand-in-hand with a discussion with their clients about their health insurance needs. We have marketing that is specifically designed for health agents to use with their clients in that transition discussion (see our award-winning video below).
Health agency owners love us – all they have to do is gather their agents together in a room, and we’ll do all of the training for them, while also providing their agents with powerful, in-house marketing tools that they can immediately start sharing with their prospects and client base. Those agency owners benefit from the new revenue that life sales bring to their office, while adding little to no extra work for them. It’s a win-win-win – for the clients, for the agents, and for the agency.
2017 open enrollment will be here before we know it, and with it, another likely slash in commissions for those already-downtrodden health agents out there. When they inevitably decide that working harder for less money isn’t a viable business model for them, we’ll be there to lend a helping hand.