We are finally starting the transition to individual.....would like suggestions

Mar 12, 2008

  1. michellea
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    michellea Super Genius

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    Ok as some of you may know my fiance and I are both captive agents selling advantage and supplemental plans for Secure Horizons/Medicare Complete. We are located in southern Alabama.

    We have been doing this for almost a year now and are wanting to start moving towards selling individual health insurance. I know not many people work this area, but you still may be able to help me.

    We are trying to figure out who to get appointed with. I have been to a couple of sites and these are the companies I am seeing:
    Celtic Ins, Assurant, Imerica, Golden Rule, Humana, Aetna, UHC

    We would like to contract direct with most, but at the same time this is an entirely new world for us and know that we need to go through a GA for at least one to get training, support, etc.

    Any tips or suggestions would be wonderful!!
     
  2. outwest
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    outwest Guest


    Hi Michella. I am rookie too, even more so than you, and I highly recommend you look at joining John's(Healthagent) group. Use the search tool and look up some of his posts. He knows his shizzle! I have been a member for only days and he has got me with a group that offers good training and good contracts, 20%! Plus he has set up some great tools for us to learn. For 20 bucks a month it's a no-brainer.

    Independent Heatlh Insurance Agent Association - INDEPENDENT HEALTH INSURANCE AGENT ASSOCIATIONÂ*
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2008
    outwest, Mar 12, 2008
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  3. michellea
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    michellea Super Genius

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    Yea, I saw that and will more than likely join, but still wanted to ask here and see get advice from everyone -- not that I doubt him because he knows a lot more then I do!!
     
  4. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    Go to eHealthinsurance and run some quotes to see who comes up most often. Each state, and even portions of any particular state, are different.

    Of the carriers you listed, in general you may find that Celtic is a minor player and can be put on the back burner. Same for Imerica (plus you will most likely be sent to AHU for contracting since they do not appoint agents direct. AHU is an IMO to avoid at all costs).

    Golden Rule & Humana have been strong carriers, especially Humana.

    You did not mention Blue, and they do control a large part of the market in AL but they may not offer brokerage contracts. If you can contract with them you need to just because you will miss out on a lot of business otherwise (unless they are totally non-competitive as they are in GA).

    Time has not been competitive in many areas so it would be a surprise if they were in your area.

    Aetna is a wild card. In some areas (like CO) they seem to be strong. Here in GA they are a "B" carrier.

    Good luck.
     
    somarco, Mar 13, 2008
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  5. michellea
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    michellea Super Genius

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    Thanks, I have been to ehealthinsurance and it pulled 3 carriers (can't remember which). I went to another quote site and it pulled different carriers then the first site did, that is why I was still wondering whom the "main" three or four were.

    Blue does not offer broker contracts here and yes they do control a large part of Alabama, but I am running across a lot of people on the individual side who are unhappy with it. Now on the senior side, the seniors feel C+ is gold, even though I can give them a F supplement plan for the same.

    Each company that I found have varying plans in regards to premiums.

    Maybe my next question should be more along the lines of how do you guys narrow down which are the best plans that a company offers? How do you compare? I think I saw a thread about the thought process into this, so I will try to look that answer up as well.

    Also neither one of us have our life license yet, will we need this to contract with companies if we just want to sell health right now? I noticed when I ran a Humana quote that there was a life option to add to your plan......
     
  6. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    This almost identical to the situation here in Florida.

    Plus, I've got news for ya...there are people unhappy with EVERY company. You've got to have more than this to be successful.

    If you try to compete with Blue head on...good luck...you'll need it!

    They've got VERY deep pockets, and can flat blow you "out the boat" with marketing muscle. Suggestion; find a different angle/attack/strategy, or they will eat your lunch!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
  7. michellea
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    michellea Super Genius

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    I totally understand what you are saying! Alex and I have been paying the bills and living pretty nice (considering we are a couple and we both jumped into this business at the same time, so there was no steady income starting out) for the last year from senior sales. We feel comfortable enough that we will be able to start this end of it until we get the hang of it and still sell the senior side for income.

    My fingerprints are being run by Florida right now, just waiting on that process to be finished and am going to work Florida some over the summer during lock-in. Alex will focus more on getting this side up and going while I pay the bills I guess, ha.

    So now after I attend a webinar I will get to work on trying to figure out how to compare plans.......
     
  8. salpro22
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    salpro22 Guru

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    Excellent advice. BCBS in many states is very competitive from a price perspective and people know them, so the comfort zone has already been established. This can hurt your or help you. In fact, in some states (CA for example) they actually do add some nice value to the plans.

    I'd encourage you to get appointed with every company in Alabama that allows appointments. Use Ehealth and/or call the Alabama DOI to obtain a list of all the carriers that sell in your state...

    Make reading insurance brochures/policies your life during the evening and weekend.

    1) Create a binder that has every consumer resource you can think of that you can use to differentiate your services.

    2)Create a binder for each company containing all the information for easy reference (this really helps when you're selling different states and don't know all of the plans available)

    3) Create spreadsheets (this will take time) of each company and a master sheet showing all the plans. This helps expedite the learning process.

    4) Find the value in building up or building down EVERY plan.

    5) Find out who your competition is by submitting internet lead requests and other creative methods. Also, call each carriers Sales Manager, Director, etc. and ask him or her who the top 3 agents are in XXXX state.

    6) Research competition, find out their strengths and weaknesses and attack.

    7) Read ALL the information on this site about individual and family insurance.

    8) Find a mentor or two. Take them out to lunch, give them leads, helpful information, etc.

    9) After spending 2 weeks you will have all the information needed to start your own agency and hire new agents :)

    Disregard that last one!
     
    salpro22, Mar 13, 2008
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  9. bcbroker
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    bcbroker Super Genius

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    Imerica no longer exists. You can use this medium for an exchange of ideas.
    I own a health insurance agency, and I am also a internet lead broker, with most of my clients being Anthem Blue Cross in several states, and Assurant Health/ Time ins. co.
     
    bcbroker, Mar 13, 2008
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  10. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    Actually, they are back.

    New deal, now in CO vs. FL. New owners. Marketed thru IMO's. Remains to be seen how long they will last this time.
     
    somarco, Mar 13, 2008
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