Colorado’s Short-Term Health Plans Now Cover Essential Health Benefits

As of last year, President Trump allowed short-term health insurance plans to be extended up to three years. However, states still have the ability to create their own restrictions. Colorado is one of these states who decided to and has had its own regulations for many years.

While Colorado has limited short-term health insurance to six months, as of April 1, 2019, they are now offering guaranteed issue policies that cover the essential benefits listed under the ACA. Short-term health insurance plans generally are not required to cover the essential benefits or be guaranteed issue (which means that anyone who applies will be accepted). This is pretty big news for people in Colorado, as well for insurers.

Insurers have stopped providing short-term coverage because of the new regulations imposed by the Division of Insurance (DOI). “With this regulation, we offer stronger consumer protection for Coloradans,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “While short-term plans may not offer the most comprehensive health coverage, people who truly need short-term health insurance won’t have to worry about their health conditions raising their premiums.”

The New Rules

  1. Short-term plans will cover the ACA’s essential health benefits which are:
    Ambulatory patient services
    Emergency services
    Hospitalization
    Maternity and newborn care
    Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
    Prescription drugs
    Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
    Lab work
    Preventive and wellness services
    Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
  2. Policies are guaranteed-issue. However, just because it will accept everyone, plans DO NOT have to cover pre-existing conditions and may exclude them from coverage.
  3. Older enrollees can not be charged any more than 3 times the premiums that are charged to the younger enrollees. In the past, older enrollees under 64 were being charged up to 7 times as much as younger enrollees.
  4. The health status of enrollees, and their claims history, cannot be used to calculate or vary their premiums.
    Short-term plans must have a medical loss ratio (MLR) of at least 80% now. This means that the plans must spend at least $.80 of every dollar collected in premiums on health care claims.

There are a few more important things to know. The plan duration is limited to 6 months, and you can not buy one if you have had coverage under more than one short-term plan in the last 12 months. Meaning, a person in Colorado can purchase a short-term plan with a six-month term, and then purchase one more short-term plan after the first ends. After the second plan ends, they’d have to wait at least six months before being able to purchase a third short-term plan.

As of April 1st, no insurers offer short-term plans in Colorado. The Division of Insurance has proposed a special enrollment period for people to buy individual major medical coverage after their existing short-term plan expires, and they can’t buy another one.

With short-term health insurance plans now offering essential benefits, there will be an abundance of people looking for plans. Benepath guarantees to provide real-time, exclusive leads to insurance agents and agencies across the country. Benepath also creates a customized thank you page that allows leads to see the agent they will then hear from, which makes them less likely to look elsewhere for a quote. Coloradans will seize this new opportunity, and the Benepath team will be right there to catch them.

2018 Google Trends Knowledge Sharing for February

2018 was a year of discovery and growth for our team, and we have made some interesting discoveries that we thought you should know for your business practices. One of the most prominent discoveries our data showed was that Health and Medicare consumers are quickly adapting to mobile search faster than any other insurance sector we serve. In a market of fast pace consumerism and the mobile market becoming more and more servable through technological advancements in the mobile sector, this trend may not come as a surprise. When comparing overall trends from 2018 to 2017, we learned that mobile query submissions on Google grew an astounding 14%. When compared to computer’s 0% growth and tablet’s -1% query submissions growth in the same time frame, we see that mobile use is vastly exceeding growth of other query submission forms.

Mobile use for online applications in the US market has grown steadily in the past 10 years. Now, more than ever, it is important that businesses put just as much effort in their mobile search efforts as it is for their standard online efforts. In our data, we discovered that consumers looking for Health or Medicare Insurance were nearly as likely to compose a search on Mobile devices, which made up 42% of all searches, as they were to do searches done on a computer, which made up 54% of all searches. Once you take growth into consideration, we predict that mobile searches will meet and likely exceed computer searches as early as 2021. This data helps build our business decisions, but could also help you with your business’s internal marketing efforts. We wanted to provide you this information because here at Benepath we believe that together, we succeed. Look for more Google data trends in months to come!

Dream large and small, but do something every day to make the dream reality

Having dreams about a successful insurance agency is the best way to build for the future. Part of those dreams must include how successful you shall be working and converting leads. Dream large. Dream small. But remember to take action on those dreams, no matter what size they may be.

If a dream feels overwhelming and shuts down your will to move forward because it seems impossible to achieve all at once, then you should break the task down. Do it one small step at a time. When you do one small step at a time, the large dream becomes closer to a reality.

If you sell one policy a day for a week, dream about two policies every day for the next week and figure out what you need to do to achieve that. If you need to change the kind of leads you buy, do it. If you need help calling your leads, get it. If your price needs to be more competitive, lower it. All dreams are achieved by making them happen in smaller steps to reach the pinnacle of success.

Summing it all up to sell insurance

If you don’t have it all together when you make calls to leads and remember that each step toward selling insurance needs to be followed diligently, you may not be as successful as you would like to be. It is hard work to call people you do not know and try to sell them insurance. They may feel it is too expensive, even though they may well have asked for an agent to call them with information.

The thing to remember when calling leads is that you are running a business and in order to keep running it successfully, you need to make your calls and convert those leads. Leaving hot leads in your mailbox for a couple of days diminishes the chances of a sale and increases the chances that the prospective customer thinks no one is going to call.

You need to be very organized when you prepare to make calls to insurance leads. Have everything right at your fingertips: your script, any sales literature pertaining to special policies, Medicare information if you specialize in Medical supplements, information on the latest trends in the insurance market that may affect a consumer, a ready smile and a drive to succeed. Yes, you do smile when you are on the phone. It’s infectious and can be hear by your potential customer.

Everyone has bad days, but leave those angry feelings at home or at the door of your business before you pick up the phone to call. You are marketing yourself, and you want to do it the right way. You must know your policies inside out, how they can be adapted to buyer’s needs, what carriers can do special exceptions for a potential customer, and how you can make your lead’s life a lot easier and safer with the right insurance policy.

The more you work on your selling skills the better you get at selling insurance. It just takes the will, drive and dedication to make it all come together and build your business.

Use the internet to grow your insurance agency by using leads to start the process

Buying insurance leads is one thing. Working them diligently is another. Converting is the ultimate goal. It’s one thing to call real time insurance leads, but quite another to also keep in touch with those leads by taking advantage of the power of social networking.

Yes, there are going to be customers that do not have access to the internet. However, there are just as many that do have it and use it for various things. If a potential customer does not use a computer, it’s a good bet these days that their children or grandchildren do. There is always a way to send leads information other than by regular mail.

Find out how to get information they ask for to them. Make sure to stay in touch for the duration, from initial contact to eventual conversion. That does not happen overnight, although we have heard of it happening now and then. The point is, leads do not work themselves and agents are busy people. Leveraging the internet and social media is one of the best ways to manage the workflow and to stay on top of the changing demographics of your agency.

Using leads keeps your business growing. Using the internet to expand your reach even further is smart marketing.

Medicare Supplement Leads Vital Foundations to Build Your Agency

If you’re new to the business of selling insurance, or even if you’re an old hand at it, make selling a breeze by using Medicare supplement leads.

Let’s be honest here. You want to grow your business, right? You did not get into selling insurance because you intended on losing money or giving away all your products. So, where do you start to get a good solid foothold in sales; sales that increase the dollar value of your business? Easy, insurance leads, the pre-vetted ones, and in particular Medicare supplement leads, are the best place to start. There is definitely no shortage of Americans who need Medicare, and if you have the drive to succeed at your business, then this is an area you need to take advantage of right now.

You know all about health insurance exchanges. You also know that they do not sell Medicare or Medicare supplements. This means you have a virtually captive audience waiting for your call. Okay, it’s not quite that simple, but pretty darn close. You sign up to get leads from a reputable lead generation company, like benepath.net. You ask for Medicare supplement leads at least once a week to begin with to get your feet wet and get into the rhythm of calling about and selling Medicare and supplements. Once you have the hang of it, you can ask for more to be delivered to your inbox.

Medicare supplement leads, provided you act on them with due diligence, have the capacity to make you a very nice income by the end of the year. What’s more is, the customers you sell to now are likely to stay with your agency come renewal time. Why? Because you provided them with good service, are personable and cheerful, know your products, treat them with respect, find them the best deals possible, handle claims with care and alacrity and overall, represent your company in fine style. You run interference for them with the insurer and in general pave the way for a good health insurance experience. All this, thanks to health insurance leads that you bought from a lead generation company.

While the online world of selling insurance is not what it used to be, it is no less personal. People may not see you or meet with you directly, not like in the old days, but they can and will get to know you through your online presence, via your website, and as a result of you speaking to them on the phone and delivering the service you say you will deliver.

Dive into the dynamic world pursuing health insurance leads sent to you by a lead generation company. Those exclusive ones can make your week so busy, you’ll be glad you spent a bit extra to get them. Just remember that old saying: “You need to spend money to make money.”

Don’t waste precious marketing opportunities by not having the right kind of presence online

Even if you do smart marketing by purchasing pre-screened insurance leads from a lead generation company, you need to have an online presence — online and offline. Use your social media presence and addresses on all of your offline marketing materials, such as letterhead, business cards and various other print media.

And don’t forget the signature line used for email correspondence. Agents should also consider adding their website address to any phone messages. While it might seem a bit like overkill, there are never too many ways to provide access to your insurance company to buy policies. What works for one individual may not work for another and you need to be available to deal with queries when they come in or very shortly thereafter. In fact, your contact information is the first thing that should be given to the leads you call.

It should come as no surprise that if you miss out on offering contact opportunities, you might also miss signing up a new customer.

Final Expense Leads — Work Them Diligently to Grow Your Agency

Selling insurance is difficult, but there are ways to succeed. Do not give up on yourself, because all things are possible when it comes to selling insurance.

One of the biggest reasons agents fail is because they give up on themselves and decide they cannot sell final expense insurance, that no one wants it and that their dream of being successful is just smoke and mirrors. One of the biggest myths held by many agents is that they only need to speak to people about insurance and they will see the light of day and purchase a policy. Although that sounds easy, it is anything but.

If selling insurance were as simple as telling someone why they need it, all agents selling final expense insurance would have booming businesses. While some do, others do not. What is the difference between the successful agents and the not so successful agents? Often the answer is lack of a specific skill set. Selling insurance is not a skill mastered overnight. It may take many months or years, depending on an agent’s learning curve.

New agents often find themselves in a panic on a daily basis wondering where their next meal is going to come from. Being on commission can either develop an agent’s skills very quickly or else encourage them to seek a salaried position elsewhere. However, with the right training, a positive mindset and the drive to succeed no matter what, any agent, even if they are new to selling final expense insurance, can work those leads like a pro and succeed.

Where does an agent start? Right from the very beginning. Ask other agents how they sell final expense insurance and how they work the leads they get from a lead generation company. Find out how they talk to their customers about that kind of policy, how often they keep in touch, what information they send, how they make their customers and potential customers feel like friends and not a sales target. There is a knack to it and if you are selling insurance because you want to help people, then you are bound to learn quickly and learn what works the best for you.

The reality is that a lead is just a lead. It does not work itself. It does not convert on its own. It does not say yes to whatever you propose. It does not always appreciate your phone call either, no matter if they asked for information. While this can be upsetting, the point is to not take it personally and keep working with a prospect to show them you are genuinely committed to helping them find what they need, not sell them something they wish they had never agreed to in the first place.

Most importantly, when you work leads, maintain a business mindset. It’s not enough to chat on the phone and provide information to people asking about insurance policies. All leads must be worked with due diligence. An agent needs to be prepared for the ups and downs of working with leads and needs to realize that success is only to be had in the long-term. Nothing worth working for happens overnight. Invest in yourself and the rest follows.

Buying insurance leads online means working leads online — be a smart marketer to convert leads

The smartest thing to do before buying any insurance leads from a lead generation company is to know your customers and understand what they want and need. Having a good idea of their financial shape is also a good idea, if possible.

You need to understand their decision chain, and by this we mean what is important to potential customers. Offering a random collection of policies or the wrong one drives clients away. Knowing what your demographic needs is the key to not only offering the right product at the right time, but converting the shopper into a buyer.

Once you have identified the right product, now is the time to start educating the consumer about the product/policy and what service, coverage and value they are getting by buying it.

Does it take a while to get all that done? Yes, but the more time you spend with a customer, the better they understand you and your products. This is not only beneficial for you, but the client. It generates loyalty and ensures customer retention and word-of-mouth marketing for you with their friends, family and relatives.

Health insurance leads are pretty good sources of income

People still want private insurance. That’s a given. There are many who still do not want to use health insurance exchanges and because of that, you have a good opportunity to still get out there and sell health insurance. You are providing something that people want, need and are willing to pay for in this volatile market. No one likes to be told what to do, what to buy and where to buy it. If they have another route they can choose, many take it and are willing to pay more to boot.

Opt to get exclusive health insurance leads, as they offer you the best source of conversions in the long term. They only come to you. You work them to the very best of your ability. You offer good service and a good product for a reasonable price and know your policies and insurers very well. This makes you part of the sales package when selling health insurance, and that’s not bad. It’s who you are and how you come across that encourages people to respond in a positive, buying frame of mind. Exclusive leads are worth the extra bucks.

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