I want to start out by saying that working with you is an honor and privilege. We all have choices in life, and I’m so glad you choose me for all of your health insurance needs. I’ve learned to take nothing for granted, both personally and professionally. I’ve always worked hard for what I have and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from making someone’s life better, less stressful, etc. This often comes from finding just the right health plan for you and your family.
We’ve all seen how the Affordable Care Act has made this process increasingly difficult, in the form of higher premiums, fewer insurance companies offering plans, fewer doctor and hospital choices with shrinking networks, changes in how prescription drugs are covered, higher deductibles and out of pocket exposure, and so on. Health Insurance as we once knew it, is gone.
Now, imagine taking a year’s worth of your business and doing it in just 45 days. Sounds humanly impossible, yes? Yet, this is what true health insurance professionals did for our clients, putting in 14 plus hour days if that’s what it took, and hoping and praying everyone got the attention they deserved. What makes this even more challenging is the fact that no two clients are the same. They don’t live in the same area, go to the same doctors, take the same prescriptions, have the same income, or have the same family make-up. Each client needs their own personal consultation. And this is where the value of a health insurance professional comes in. The value of someone who knows the nuances of insurance companies, plans, networks. Someone who is there for when you get cancer, or need surgery, and realize you need to be on a different plan after extensive network / doctor search, and will stay at the office until the midnight hour, before the deadline, to move you to the plan that is better for you – or your family. But it doesn’t stop there. As your trusted advisor, we are there for you every step of the way – from ID cards, to claims negotiations, remediation, ongoing service and consultation with whatever you, our clients, need. We are your advocate and will fight for you like we would our own family.
Picking the right plan from the start is more important than ever since the law says you can’t change plans outside of Open Enrollment, which typically lasts a few months somewhere between November and January, each year. You can NOT buy insurance any time of the year. You are locked in to a plan whether you like it or not. Often I get calls from people who thought they could “do it on their own” and ended up with a plan that doesn’t work for them because they didn’t know what to look for. Then, they are stuck with it for a year.
Did I mention that I love what I do? I always have. I’ve never paid much attention to how much money I’ll make helping someone, just putting them first, taking care of them, is true satisfaction. The compensation comes later, in the form of commission payments from the insurance companies. If you think about it, independent health insurance professionals are the least expensive way for them to sell their policies. We are like independent contractors to them. If we do not produce, we don’t get paid. And what they pay us is a small percentage of the premiums.
But now that the dust settled after the craziest Open Enrollment Season in history, we are faced with yet another challenge. Many health insurance companies we work with are no longer paying commission. For now, this is for policies written outside of Open Enrollment, but can change overnight. So, as you can imagine, I am faced with a very tough decision. Obviously no one can work for free on a regular basis. If commissions are eliminated altogether, agents will have no choice except to start charging consulting fees. Many of them already do, but I have not gone there yet, hoping and praying I can continue to do what I love, and still get paid.
But we all have to fight for what we believe in, and this is where you come in:
I am asking you to join me in the fight. With the help of Health Agents for America (HAFA), we are asking you to let our State and Federal representatives know the value of working with a health insurance professional. I’ve tried to make this as easy as possible… just a few clicks and your voice can be heard.
(Special thanks to Tanya Boyd & Associates for putting my thoughts into these eloquent words.)
Please click the following link to sign a document letting our State and Federal representatives know the value of working with a health insurance professional. Your voice is important.