We’ve been getting a lot of feedback from agents on their experience with the Obamacare open enrollment.
Most of you told us how you were flooded with nervous and upset clients back in October and November when Healthcare.gov wasn’t working. Not much of a surprise there. But once it started working we got different responses and requests depending on whether you were selling on the exchanges as well as off the exchanges.
Agents who wrote no exchange business didn’t seam to write more or less new business and their businesses remained fairly steady.
Agents who wrote both on and off the exchanges appeared to have some success expanding their business as well as selling voluntary products to supplement their income.
But we have heard from several agents who focused solely on writing exchange business and literally knocked the ball out of the park.
Last week, I had a long conversation with an agent who described himself politically as right of right who decided to park his politics at the door (just like all the big money conservatives do – Halliburton, Koche Industries, etc) and made the business decision to sell on the exchange.
They wrote over 4,000 policies with only 12 agents between December and March – $40,000,000 in annualized premium.
That was an average of 20.8 policies sold/per agent/ per WEEK! 1 agent sold 127 policies in one week.
While the commissions are lower, they are making substantially more money than if they had sold 4 or 5 regular policies in a week – which was a good week for most agents we know.
One large national carrier, who we all know, called to ask him how he was doing it because their sales were rivaling their in-house sales.
I’ve heard the complaints about only making a 2.5-3% commission or $25/per participant/per month, etc. but if you are closing 30-40% and literally taking orders to write 20 apps a week, you make more money at the end of the day.
So how did they do it?
- First the owners set their politics aside and made a business decision, then
- They bought a lot of leads (not just from us)
- Generated a lot of their own leads (using our new Search+ program)
- Set up a good sales system (CRM)
- Got contracts with the Blue Plans and other major carriers in their states
- Hired agents on referral only, and
- Paid their agents well.
A pretty straight forward model that generated SEVEN figures in commissions with solid profitability over a 4 month period… Not bad.
If you and your agency didn’t take advantage of the Obamacare windfall, there are still millions of people to take care of in upcoming open enrollments.
In the meantime, sell short term medical and other non-exchange programs available outside of OEP to take care of people who missed their opportunity, work with small businesses to convert them from group plans to individual (which creates a qualifying event for all the employees making them eligible for an exchange plan as well as an off exchange plan), and start preparing for the fall!