Marketing to the VFW

Dec 29, 2006

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  1. midwestbroker
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    midwestbroker Guru

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    I am working on getting into the Veterans Association and some local VFW posts.

    We have a plan here in Kansas City that is $0 premium, $0 co-pay to PCP and specialists, and no part D. It works great with Veterans who us the VA hospital.

    Any advice on getting in? I am going to contact some clients who I have sold it to and ask them what they belong to and if I could do a seminar for them. But I would like to get into the posts.

    Thanks!
     
  2. James
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    James Guru

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    In these neck of the woods the VA Adminstration is at the County Courthouse. Simply go in and ask to speak to the Adminsitator, he/she will likely give you permission to post flyers and possibly send out invitations (maybe that depends on you and your ability on selling the idea). What you really want to stress is that the MA plan acts as a back up to the VA Hospital.

    1. VA hospitals are notorious on having waiting periods before admission.
    2. No ambulance coverage, that can be quite costly. Plus around here in Knoxville the VA hospital is about hundred miles and located in Johnson City.
    3. Dr visits and physicals!

    The one negative is many will belong to TriCare or the other one which escapes me at this point. If they do belong to TriCare, there is nothing you can offer them.
     
  3. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    Try contacting Social Services at the VA hospital & see what you can find. Beyond that I have no real advice.

    Probably helps if you are a vet.

    Unfortunately most carriers have worn out their welcome at bases (and probably VFW lodges as well) due to shady tactics and sub-par products. You need to take it slow & easy. There is a lot of suspicion of insurance agents thanks to the crooks peddling high cost life insurance products and lousy annuities.
     
  4. midwestbroker
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    midwestbroker Guru

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    I am working with another agent on this, and I knew that there was mention in the past about marketing here.

    Thanks for the quick replies. There are a lot of lodges here and I plan on hitting everyone of them. I also am going to visit the hospital and talk to them.

    I am also going to stop in the National Headquarters here in Kansas City just to talk to them and maybe get a contact there. That I think may give me more credit when talking to the lodges and hospital.

    How has your success been marketing there?
     
  5. James
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    James Guru

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    If they don't have TriCare its a laydown.
     
  6. salpro22
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    salpro22 Guru

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    I assume you are not a vet, so I would suggest the following.

    1) Contact a local base (public affairs office) and ask how you go about volunteering at the base. Every service member who leaves the military has about 2000 briefings to go through. One of those briefings talks about COBRA and obtaining health insurance as a civilian. I completely forgot about those briefings until I read your post. That might be one way to get your foot in the door at the local VFW, while volunteering your time to make sure military members understand the importance of quality healthcare.

    2) Volunteer at a local VA hospital. The VA unfortunately doesn't have as many resources as it should, but that is changing. Perhaps you can provide free classes where you discuss how to navigate Medicare in conjunction with the VA.

    3) Join any service and receive an honorable discharge :) Personally, I would recommend the Air Force :)

    4) Look into government organizations that help military members and civilians. The military is all about civil service (when there is not a war), so I would try to get involved with 1 or two that you like. I enjoyed working for Habitat for Humanity.

    Check out the following links.

    http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/about_usafc/update/archive.asp

    http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4564

    http://www.servenet.org/cont/dsp_cont_home_about_us.cfm?locationId=5

    That should keep you busy for about a month.

    -J.R.
     
  7. Tx249
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    Tx249 Expert

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    As a Vet that uses the VA, I pay $7 for a prescription and $15 for an office visit. I usually go in once or twice a year. They like me to come in twice, I like me to go there once a year. They require I go in at least once a year. At my age (just a kid, 50's)I wouldn't think I need anything else.

    For any Vietnam Veterans out there, there is a Vietnam Veterans of America group out there that you can belong to.
     
  8. IFS_Edge
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    I have given seminars to VFW members. Actually at 24 locations in West Texas. They do not do anything without the approval of the Quartermaster and someone else, so if you want to get in, you need to speak to the head honchos. At the very least, send them a letter of introduction regarding a benefit that is exclusive to veterans. Actually, it helps if you actually DO have an exclusive benefit. I was able to offer a 10% savings to all VFW and Ladies Auxillary members and their spouses when thye pre-arranged their funerals. However, this was a National Contract with the funeral company. They also just got the American Legions to agree to provide them with their membership to send invitations to.
    Basically, it was a Veteran and Ladies Auxillary Burial Benefits seminar ("the VA does a great job providing burial benefits to veterans, but do little to nothing for funeral services...") and once we got them in to speak about the burial benefits, we provided information on funerals. We would then sell $89-$120K in funeral volume (averaging $6500 each). So, this is a GREAT market if you can find a way to get in. I still have all the mailing lists of my members in the three towns I was DIRECTLY over, but not the other 21 locations I was simply giving the seminars for.
    Speaking to the Ladies Auxillary would be the easy way to get the name of the Quartermaster because they are the ones who have to take care of those men!
    I love the military lifestyle, I am an Army brat so that helped also.
    ~IF
     
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