Affordable Care Act Postpones Employer Penalty

Obamacare faced another significant setback yesterday when the administration announced it would delay the implementation of the employer penalties by a year until 2015. The Obama team bowed to complaints from business groups about the impact the law would have on their companies and their ability to hire new employees.

Mark J. Mazur, the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, published the news yesterday on the treasury site. The post, Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner, attempts to paint this as a deliberate move to ease the reporting burden on employers as the initial forms were overly complex.

While this postponement does not change other parts of the law, analysts have noted that this delay may be a harbinger of more bad news for Obamacare to come. Especially considering that the federal government has not completed the work necessary to setup exchanges in the 30 states who will not be setting up their own exchanges. This is a herculean task that many experts believe cannot be accomplished in the remaining four months prior to open enrollment.

The Washington Post noted that this is a significant event for the administration, diminishing Obama’s credibility and threatening his legacy as the employer mandate is now in jeopardy of being permanently removed from the act. Which would undermine the entire law as the revenue the mandate will generate significantly contributes to the cost of this new entitlement program.

Employer Coverage Declining

Another article you should read is a thoughtful piece in Forbes where they go into the potential impact of this policy change on employer coverage and they also note that it may not be legal to delay the implementation without an actual change in the law. Essentially, the administration can choose to not enforce the law, but its still the law.

The coming months are going to be exceptionally interesting as we all count down to implementation of one of the largest government run programs in the history of the country.

Does Your Lead Company Do This?

We continue to receive Sales Disposition Reports from some of our top clients. As we wrote back in the summer, this data enables us to continually make adjustments to our campaigns at the keyword level.

Contact rates and closing rates have improved, but they can get better. In one instance, we reduced a Client’s Cost per Sale by $200. Quite simply, we need more clients giving us this data. The larger the sample size, the more conclusions we can draw on what does and doesn’t work for our Marketing Campaigns.

There has been no change in where we are marketing, the landing pages and sites we are using, etc.

So, how can things change?

To find out, we take the disposition reports as well as other clients’ sales results  and matched it up with our marketing data. Then the analysis can begin.

Here’s what we discovered:

  • Two sub sources of traffic from our long term advertising sources recently had substantial increases in their traffic. Some of you may now say that should have been an alarm in and of itself, but you would be dead wrong. This happens all the time and without knowing sales results there is too little data to have real actionable information.
  • Clients that were displaying quotes on their branded thank you page were closing 125% more cases than those without quotes.  A consumer that types a keyword phrase with the word “quotes”  wants to see quotes after filling out their information or know clearly how the agent will be delivering their quotes.
  • There are certain keywords that are getting more and more searches as Obamacare draws near.

Here’s what we did:

  • Blocked the two sub sources from displaying our ads going forward
  • Made improvements to our thank you pages
  • Increased bids on the keywords that are resulting in Sales and blocked keywords that have been identified as a lower likelihood of closing.

Without customer feedback, we would be flying blind.

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Check out our Video to learn exactly the process we go through  to do our analysis.

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