Advice for Selling in California

May 1, 2007

  1. SME
    Offline

    SME Super Genius

    Posts:
    229
    Likes Received:
    1
    I want to start selling individual health insurance in California soon. Can anyone give me some advice on the market? What plans are popular, which carriers are good? Thanks
     
    SME, May 1, 2007
    #1
  2. Dave020
    Offline

    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

    Posts:
    3,357
    Likes Received:
    50
    State:
    California
    Keep your happy a** in Arizona and stay off my turf! ;)

    Ok, just kidding. I deal with four carriers here, Blue Cross, Blue Shield (they are separate companies in CA), Health Net and the occasional Kaiser Perm. Other carriers include Aetna (they left the market a few years ago and have come creeping back), Nationwide (aka CalFarm), PacifiCare (aka United Healthcare now), and I think I hear Assurant sells here but am not sure.

    CA has a limited number of IFP carriers. Both Blues are good and Cross has just introduced Lumenos portfolio here (very attractive plans). Health Net is big into cross border stuff and low-cost stripped down basic coverage plans. Kaiser will throw you $100 per head for IFP applicants, but you can't service them like the other carriers ($50 per head renewals as well).

    I'd suggest starting with both Blue and working the others into your arsenal over time.

    Dave
    www.davefluker.com
     
    Dave020, May 1, 2007
    #2
  3. Crabcake Johnny
    Offline

    Crabcake Johnny Guru

    Posts:
    14,811
    Likes Received:
    15
    State:
    South Carolina
    Assurant sells there. Great in some zip codes, absolutely horrible in others.
     
  4. SME
    Offline

    SME Super Genius

    Posts:
    229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the advice. From what I have seen it seems to be a high deductible area, not much on the HMO market so I'll have to brush up on HSAs. Did I interpret this correctly?
     
    SME, May 1, 2007
    #4
  5. Dave020
    Offline

    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

    Posts:
    3,357
    Likes Received:
    50
    State:
    California
    It's gonna depend on which part of the state your working in. SoCal is HMO heavy with so many providers they literally fall over each other at Starbucks. Orange, LA, Riverside, SD, Ventura are all areas where HMO is still very popular and many docs take them to stay competitive.

    Move north of Santa Barbara and it's nearly HMO death. Many counties in NorCal are closed to HMO as there are zero providers. Less competition and more selective docs up here.

    HSA are very popular and Kaiser I know offers HSA HMO plans on the IFP side.

    Dave
    www.davefluker.com
     
    Dave020, May 1, 2007
    #5
  6. djs
    Offline

    djs Super Moderator Moderator

    Posts:
    6,679
    Likes Received:
    74
    State:
    California
    Dave -

    My hats off to you, you know your market very, very well. I work primarily locally to me, so it's good to see this type of insight to the state as a whole.

    Dan
     
    djs, May 1, 2007
    #6
  7. Dave020
    Offline

    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

    Posts:
    3,357
    Likes Received:
    50
    State:
    California
    Thanks Dan. It is just the way I set it up using my website for marketing and attracting prospects (and niche marketing like HIPAA, Spousal Group and other guaranteed-issue plans).

    The result has been great, and I joke that I have more clients in Redondo Beach than I do in Gilroy (which is actually true). As I have worked with people from San Diego to Eureka and Tahoe to SF, I have had to kind of learn on the fly about all of these things (and yes I ask lots of questions).

    I remember the first time I had a client heavy into Scripps, and then I didn't even know who they were, I learned pretty quick that they are huge in Capristrano, San Diego area.

    I love this career and everyday I just enjoy taking calls, answering emails and having fun with people. Can't think of any career I would find more fulfilling.

    Dave
    www.davefluker.com
     
    Dave020, May 1, 2007
    #7
  8. SME
    Offline

    SME Super Genius

    Posts:
    229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Isn't Gilroy where they have the garlic festival? My dad made us go as teenagers, there is something seriously wrong with garlic flavored ice cream.
     
    SME, May 2, 2007
    #8
  9. Dave020
    Offline

    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

    Posts:
    3,357
    Likes Received:
    50
    State:
    California
    Yes, this is the home of the famous or infamous Gilroy Garlic Festival. I used to volunteer at the beer consessions with the chamber. Hot weather, dry and dusty and garlic in everything.

    I agree about the ice cream, although I have found that if you eat something with garlic in it first, you don't taste it in the ice cream.

    Quirky little small town stuff, although the festival gets like 135,000 people every year (used to get 250,000 but they had to cut it back too many fights, drunks, etc.).

    Dave
    www.davefluker.com
     
    Dave020, May 2, 2007
    #9
  10. GreenSky
    Offline

    GreenSky Guru

    Posts:
    15,339
    Likes Received:
    453
    State:
    Nevada
    I tend to favor HSA plans and use Nationwide almost exclusively. I've had fewer issues with them then with any other carrier, maybe because the higher deductible just has few claims.

    Blue Cross - name recognition. High out of pocket. Do a great job covering what a person CAN afford (office visits). Their PPO plans with reasonable deductibles are expensive, like everyone else.

    Blue Shield - they want to be Blue Cross and tend to follow the leader. Used to have a great HSA. Now the only plan I even consider from them is their HSA 4000. Priced similarly to Nationwide's HSA 3600 but Shield does not include maternity.

    Health Net, PacifiCare - waste of time for me. Time is too expensive.

    However, a company with low rates in county might be be very high in another county.

    Hope that helps.

    Rick
     
Loading...