Independent Health Insurance Agent Association

Mar 6, 2008

  1. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    I have started an association for independent health insurance agents that's focused on training, support and a community environment.

    If you need or want ongoing training and support this will be something you'll want to look into.

    I heavily recommend all new agents go as direct with the carriers. That's not always possible, but encouraged. The problem is when you go direct, training and support fall between lacking and non-existent.

    General training is arguably more important they product-specific training; how to qualify, write apps, general health insurance information, etc...

    The normal system is new agents go off to general agents or agencies. Some are great - most aren't. Agents are not properly trained, trained to sell the wrong products and trained on only one method of closing deals when in fact there are many.

    So what's the deal?

    Right now it's $19.95 per month and what's available is:
    • Getting new agents off the ground - E&O, proper business set up, all the tools new agents need, etc...
    • Training on health insurance in general
    • Training on a wide variety of marketing methods from people currently successful using those methods
    • Ongoing support in the way of webinars, teleconferences and simply being able to get questions answered quickly (same day)
    • Community atmosphere
    • Discounts available now on YIO and Marketing Campaign Solution's dialer CRM - many more discounts to follow
    Although I'm president, I have successful career agents lined up to run certain webinars that are specific to their talents.

    Go to: IHIAA

    If you have any questions either call or email me:
    410-874-7241
    [email protected]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  2. myinsurebiz
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    myinsurebiz Guru

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    John,

    How about a webinar on how to use a dialer and an effective lesson on how to generate a lead / appointment using the 5 Reports . . .

    Calling businesses makes so much sense.

    Tom
     
  3. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Members will get a lot of webinars - and yes, I'll be doing things like desktop sharing with teleconferences so members can hear how I use the CRM and generate leads.
     
  4. Newby
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    Newby Guru

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    This is a great idea. You've helped me quite a bit already and I haven't even paid you yet. I'm joining.

    Question: Are you saying if we join at the into rate, we will get to keep that rate for any specified period of time?

    Thanks!
     
    Newby, Mar 7, 2008
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  5. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Yes, I have helped a lot of agents for nothing - but those are just short conversations. What most agents need is a lot of ongoing support. Hey, it's not just me running this - I have great help.

    And yes, introductory members will be locked into that rate for life. And this "introductory rate" stuff isn't some kind of sales pitch. It's a new association and the best way to build membership is offering a low intro rate.

    After this is off the ground - and judging from interest that will be quickly - I will be setting new rates - yet to be determined but absolutely not $19.95 a month or $200 for a one-time payment.

    Look around at other associations - of which there are many. Most charge $400+ per year and although they do offer benefits it's nothing agents need in the way of tools, training and support. Most associations run more along the lines of advocacy and general industry information.

    And I Newby - I look forward to having you as a member.
     
  6. GreenSky
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    GreenSky Guru

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    John:

    The next step is to have enough clout to become an IMO or FMO. Work it on a co-op basis. Pay a small monthly fee and you have the extra commission normally earned by an upline (that does nothing).

    What do you think of that?

    Rick
     
  7. padthaiforlunch
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    padthaiforlunch Guru

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    Glad you finally are getting this off the ground. I have learned much from reading your posts in this forum.

    Even though my insurance focus is trending to the life category, $20/mo. seems like it would be money well spent.
     
  8. sman
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    sman Guru

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    John,

    I commend you on your willingness to help others with the learning curve. But I'm curious as to how you plan on knowing (in detail) what carriers are best in each of the states of the reps that would join your association. It's hard enough for me to keep up with the underwriting guidelines (meaning that I know which carrier is most likely not to rider/rate-up/decline). I am contracted with Aetna, Assurant, Blue Cross Blue Shield (different in most every state), Coventry, Humana, Golden Rule & Kaiser. These are just the carriers I deal with on a regular basis in my state. And it really is only 3-4 of those listed. There are other carriers that are on the fringes like a Celtic or World that I really don't do anything with.

    Frankly I don't see how you are going to be able to assist someone in these areas. Maybe with the marketing and such, but that's only half the sale. You still need to know who is going to offer the best opportunity to get issued for the prospect. And I just don't see how you're going to be able to do that in all states. I mean, even on your blog you share tales of GR saying one thing and doing another. And someone questions you on that. So maybe the underwriting is a little different in that person's state. How do you propose to be able to help agents in that regard?
     
    sman, Mar 10, 2008
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  9. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    I'm not gonna go that route - I don't want to earn any overrides off members or be compensated in other ways except for dues.

    What I'm doing is lining up top contracts for a variety of products so new agents don't have to fight and claw for top deals. But those will just be member benefits.
     
  10. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    I don't - never will. It's impossible to keep up with the nuances in every state - a myriad of different plans and underwriting rules.

    Two items:

    1) The main association benefits are general training on the industry with regards to plans, underwriting rules, etc...You make a great point that all states are different which is something new agents are not aware of. However, they're aware of it when they join.

    2) I'm affiliating with industry experts in a variety of states to run various training sessions. For example, I have a CE instructor lined up to cover licensing. I have a former underwriter lined up to get into great detailed training from the perspective of an underwriter.

    I'm not going to be training, for example, on Arizona details. I'll have an Arizona affiliate do that training session.

    Frankly, a larger benefit is a community atmosphere. Most people are simply not gonna post on message boards all day and over 80% of all member who have joined have not posted a message here yet. They don't don't feel comfortable and what I hear is "I don't want to waste anyone's time with a ton of questions."

    Here's an example - most of us know you can get a free Google website; important to those without any money and want a web presence.

    Exactly how do you go about it? Complicated - especially adding CNAME records so your domain directs. But I had someone who designs sites give me the play by play so:

    "click the lower right square box for full screen."

    Zoho Show - Public Documents

    then you take that a step further and host a live "web building webinar" where members set up their site step by step.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
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