Obamacare & Selling Individual Health Insurance in 2013 & 2014

Apr 5, 2013

  1. mark68
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    I've seen a lot of older threads about the impact Obamacare could have on agents selling individual health insurance. I wanted to get your thoughts on what the current thoughts are from experienced agents selling individual health insurance.

    Some seem to say that it's a great time to get in the business and others are saying to "run as fast as you can".

    What's your thoughts?
     
    mark68, Apr 5, 2013
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  2. CHUMPS FROM OXFORD
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    CHUMPS FROM OXFORD Guru

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    GET OUT NOW!!!!! The warning shots were fired a few years ago by both Google and the Administration. That was the time to start shifting your focus.

    Although personally, I did not get out, the vast majority should. You will need a web presence, patience, experience and understanding to survive in a "health insurance only" mindset.
     
  3. Yagents
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    I hope I can find time to eat from Sept-Dec
     
    Yagents, Apr 5, 2013
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  4. taterpeeler
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    I hope I have money to eat after December... my poor kids may starve due to daddys decision to get in health insurance 20 years ago.... foolish mistake on my part
     
  5. RayNY
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    Roll the dice with the rest of us. Best case scenario, navigators/IPA's CAN'T enroll, just direct business to brokers. Carriers choose to continue pre-ppaca commissions (or even increase them to where they were a decade ago). Get yourself licensed and registered and let the apps and commissions pour in. Could be a windfall.

    Worse case scenario (and most likely) carriers don't offer commission. We here in New York have already seen the big names cut commissions by 25%+ across the board, and to 0% on a bunch of very popular programs.

    Some states may be great for brokers; there is the potential to make more money than ever. My gut tells me, the reality will be quite the opposite.

    Until the comp schedule for '14 comes out, and the navigator role is defined in non-FFE states, we have no clue.
     
    RayNY, Apr 5, 2013
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  6. CHUMPS FROM OXFORD
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    There will be a market. But it will take specific abilities, online presence and other oddities to make it work.

    Many will thrive. We all have taken different approaches with this (as I discussed with Ann yesterday!). It will be very interesting.
     
  7. Yagents
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    As long as there's Quail on your property, the Peeler's will be eating like kings
     
    Yagents, Apr 5, 2013
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  8. taterpeeler
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    yes sir... and them boogers were good yesterday.... I ate 2 of them and my kids love 'em....my wife will not eat them

    now, if I could muster getting in the creek down the lane I would go frog gigging
     
  9. Ann H
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    Just like CHUMPS and I were discussing on the phone yesterday, the answer is both "it's a great time to get in the business" and "run as fast as you can". It depends on your situation. There will be leads raining down on our heads like confetti in a New York parade. However, to convert that to cash you need several things:

    1. Strong experience in the health insurance market, preferably 15 years or more
    2. Solid financial base to make it through the transition (either a solid book of business, or assets, or cash)
    3. Large base of prospects (from a website that generates leads, or a database of your most recent clients/prospects, or another marketing program)
    4. Willingness to take a risk
    5. Adaptability and the agility to turn on a dime when things change
    6. Program in place to process business as a volume-business rather than an underwritten business
    7. As a bonus, the ability to cross-sell

    If you have those strengths, then this could be a major windfall for you. Of course, we are still dependent on carriers' decisions, such as how many participate in our state, the benefit plans, premiums and commissions that they set. And, we are subject to the whims of government decisions. But as it sits right now, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for those who have the strength set mentioned above to thrive through it.

    If you have the following situations, I would run from this market:

    1. Newbie in the industry, and possibly even those with 7 years or less experience.
    2. A young family to feed and no solid income or assets to turn to when your current commissions disappear and you are waiting for the new commissions to start hitting your bank account.
    3. Dependency on buying leads for your prospects.
    4. Dependency on taking advances for cash flow, or a debit balance with carriers.
    5. A solid alternative for income that is a better choice at this time (such as Med Supp sales, P&C, Web development, or another industry).
    6. The need to have a solid route mapped out before you feel you can continue. Fear and frustration with ever-changing govt rules and ever-changing products and markets.

    Like I've said before there's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to leave this market. It's a great decision for those with particular situations. Item #5 above is one of the best reasons to do so (a solid alternative for income that is a better choice at this time). This isn't for everyone. But it's perfect for some (me included).
     
    Ann H, Apr 5, 2013
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  10. kahlestyle
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    Ann, do you have an exit strategy in that you think we have a 3-5 yr window?
    Sprint til maybe second open enrollment then sell at its high perhaps?
    I can see comp going to zero in your 3-5 yr window, but what is your guess for commissions on cases on the books at that time?
     
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