For health insurance agents, the open enrollment period serves as time to help people find the right medical coverage. While the main focus is usually on primary care or major medical coverage, this period also provides an ideal time to try to encourage clients to take a look at some supplemental coverage options. Plan options including dental, vision, mental health, critical illness and more, all can help your clients fill in the gaps in their main coverage and increase their overall well-being.
While supplemental coverages seem like a no brainer to have, pitching them oftentimes comes with some buyer hesitation. As a licensed insurance expert, it is your job to navigate that hesitation. In order to help you in this endeavor, we are going to explore some of the most common supplemental coverage options, their advantages, and some other tips to help you successfully sell them. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to upsell more products, while also making your clients highly satisfied with their new comprehensive package.
Why is Supplemental Coverage Important?
In general, major medical coverage will cover a variety of medical treatments and expenses, but even so, it will often fall short when it comes to specialized treatments and doctors. Even the best health insurance plans have gaps that are left wide open. While many of your clients may think that they will never need to use supplemental coverage, it is your responsibility to explain to them that it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Instead of playing the guessing game, when you pair a client up with supplemental coverage, they will feel confident knowing that their medical safety net covers every health risk and possibility that could occur. All in all, supplemental coverage is all about planning for the future, and that is a major selling point you can make during these conversations.
What Coverages Should I Sell?
Now that we all know why supplemental coverage can be so valuable, it’s time to get down to business and explore the specific coverages that every health insurance agent should be thinking about offering during the OEP. Additionally, we will discuss the major selling points and advantages of each. While we will touch on many different supplemental coverage options, we will go into more detail about the three most common ones: Dental, Vision and Mental Health.
While dental health is a great factor to consider when looking at an individual’s overall health, it is overlooked by most insurance plans. Even the plans that do offer dental coverage usually only provide limited coverage which can leave huge bills to pay for out of pocket. Whether it is a major procedure like a root canal, or just a cleaning, individuals with no or limited coverage will be forced to bite the bullet and pay, or simply not attend to their oral health needs. Some ways that you can encourage your clients to consider dental coverage includes:
1.Cost Savings Benefits
One of the first things you may want to bring up is the cost of routine dental care with supplemental coverage versus with no coverage. When touching on this point, it may pay off to do a side-by-side cost comparison. While looking at the average costs with supplemental insurance, make sure to include any discounts or reduced payments. When they see the amount of money that dental procedures and check-ups will cost without the coverage, the savings will be obvious and it will be easy for you to prove that this investment will save them money in the long run.
A huge selling point of dental coverage is the preventive care that clients wouldn’t otherwise get without it. Preventive care for dental mainly includes routine check-ups (many plans offer one or two of these for free per year). This care gives patients the opportunity to address and get ahead of any issues, before they get worse.
Another great thing about dental coverage is the flexibility in the options of coverage. Make sure to let your clients know that they have options. For example, people who are generally healthy may only need basic care, while other people who already have some oral condition, might need more extensive coverage. The flexibility in plans can help you combat buyer hesitation when it comes to cost. Plus, different benefits come with varying prices.
We use our eyes constantly, yet for some reason, vision care can be overlooked when it comes to insurance. Here are some of the best points to touch on when offering vision coverage:
- Periodic Eye Exams: Having regular eye exams can help detect eye disease and prevent vision problems. While many people don’t consider their eye health to be as important as the rest of their body, it definitely is! You may consider telling clients about how eye exams can sometimes reveal other health problems including hypertension and diabetes. Additionally, many people have poor eyesight and don’t even realize it. Periodic eye exams can help your clients address all of these things during a quick visit.
- Eyewear Cost: Another selling point is the fact that eye glasses and contact lenses can be very expensive without insurance. Similar to dental coverage, during this part of the conversation it will pay off to do a side-by-side comparison of average lens costs with and without a comprehensive plan. This is a great way to show the value of a plan in monetary terms.
- Variety of Options: It’s important to explain to clients that coverage options are flexible. Depending on their personal needs, they can purchase a plan that includes much more than contacts and glasses, like LASIK surgery or discounts for expensive frames.
Mental Health Coverage
In recent years, mental health has become a more recognized health issue, but it is still not included in many insurance packages. Here are some major selling points when it comes to mental health coverage add-ons.
- Range of Services: Mental health coverage can include a variety of benefits such as substance abuse treatment, group therapy, traditional counseling, in-patient therapy, psychiatric care and more. Explaining all of the benefits is a great way to show the comprehensiveness of this coverage type.
- Professional Support System: Everyone goes through hard times, and you should let your clients know that they’re not alone. Adding mental health coverage will provide people with a professional support system, so that they can learn new tools and coping mechanisms to live a happier life.
- Physical and Mental Connection: Another point to touch on is how physical and mental health both affect each other. Tell your clients about how studies can prove that people who are experiencing things like major depression or anxiety tend to have worse physical health than those who address the issues.
Other Supplemental Coverages
While dental, vision and mental health coverage are the most common, there are many other options that can be added on to medical plans. A good way to sell the following coverages is by presenting them alongside the dental, vision and mental health options.
- Cancer Insurance: Especially if a client has a family history of cancer, this can be a valuable coverage by providing financial support for treatments and other expenses when diagnosed.
- Disability Insurance: Disability coverage provides clients with a safeguard if they happen to become disabled and can’t work.
- Critical Illness Insurance: This coverage offers clients a lump-sum payment if they are diagnosed with a severe illness. This payment will help to cover medical expenses or other financial needs.
Crafting Your Sales Pitch
To upsell your clients on one or multiple of the discussed products, you need to have a strategy in place. The following are some approaches that you can take to encourage your clients to add on a supplemental plan:
Educating your clients about the importance of specific coverages is one of the most important tactics. You can try using a number of educational tactics such as statistics, videos, infographics, or real-life examples to convey how the coverage will affect them positively.
It’s important to mention the benefits included in the coverage plan, but don’t say anything that you can’t back up. Being transparent about things like costs, exclusions and coverage limits will show your clients that you are honest and want the best for them.
We’ve touched on this a bit already, but sometimes all it takes is a little side-by-side comparison of either different supplemental coverages or of what it looks like with no coverage. When doing so, highlight the costs, savings and associated benefits.
Ask questions about your clients specific needs, preferences, health, lifestyle and any financial limitations. In turn you can then suggest a supplemental plan that is both affordable and relevant.
The truth is, some clients may not take your word, but when you combine it with a satisfied client’s testimonial, they will be sold. Share specific success stories with as much detail as possible, to paint the full picture.
While we all hope to make the sale during our initial conversation, if that isn’t the case, you don’t have to limit yourself to a single conversation. Try following up with a client a couple weeks to a month down the road. After having ample time to consider their options and interests, they may be ready to make a purchase. Additionally, be sure to let them know that you are always a call away to answer any questions or concerns.
The open enrollment period is a prime time of the year to check in with current clients, and form relationships with new clients. This OEP, in addition to helping people receive a primary care plan that they are happy with, you should also consider exploring supplemental options with them. Not only will these types of plans fill in the gaps for your clients, but they can also generate more revenue for you. It’s your responsibility to effectively convey the benefits of these extra coverages, proving to clients that they are valuable and add a layer of security to their lives. By looking at supplemental plans from a variety of angles, and tailoring your sales approach based on their specific needs, you will be able to satisfy more clients, and sell more plans during this year’s open enrollment period.
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