We’re less than a month away from the next Open Enrollment and it’s almost time to start prospecting health insurance leads. When you do, how will you help your aged leads take advantage of Obamacare/ACA benefits while also growing your business?
The answer is by educating your health insurance leads, in your cold calling and through your sales script, to help get them the right coverage solution for their needs. Do this, and you’ll have good returns in the future. Here’s how.
Millions Are Leaving Money on the Table
A new government report says 2.5 million Americans are paying too much for health insurance. These are individuals who are currently covered, but have bought on the open market — even though they would have qualified for government tax breaks and premium subsidies through the Obamacare marketplace.
It has to do with these insurance customers’ income levels, which are said to be moderate or low. However, they’re not getting the benefits of Obamacare subsidies and they’re paying too much. Only ACA marketplace plans let customers take advantage of this federal tax credit.
Most importantly, many of these folks are unaware of these facts.
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Customers From California to Pennsylvania Could Benefit
Affected customers are scattered across the country. California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania each are estimated to have more than 100,000 residents who could gain access to lower premiums through subsidies — if they knew about the subsidies and were enrolled in qualifying Exchange health care plans.
New Premium Hikes Are Coming
As many agents are already aware, significant health insurance premium increases are coming. Insurers are going up on rates across the board, but some plans, carriers, and states will be affected worse than others.
Some insured Americans will feel the sting in their wallet worse than others, too. Particularly, these 2.5 million customers buying full-priced insurance on the open market. According to the HHS report, a significant portion of those customers could benefit from subsidies through the ACA. Those subsidies go a long way towards insulating low-income health insurance customers from these premium hikes.
Sales Opportunity: Educate Your Health Insurance Leads
For agents, the opportunity is clear. Educate your health insurance leads. Agents can offer value and a high level of service to their aged leads by educating prospects about these issues. As always, you have to ask the right questions, listen actively for clues about insurance needs and problems, and offer solutions to meet those needs and offer the right benefits.
Start by looking at a prospect’s household income. ACA premium subsidies are available for people who earn between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. For 2016, that means incomes between:
- $11,880 and $47,520 for individuals.
- $16,020 and $64,080 for a family of two.
- $20,160 and $80,640 for a family of three.
- $24,300 and $97,200 for a family of four.
Subsidies that lower deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance for health services and medication are also available for those with household incomes between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level.
So be sure that when you’re prospecting health insurance leads to ask about income and family size. You may be able to steer prospects to coverage plans that will save them big money.
Long-Term Growth With Health Insurance Leads
When it comes to how selling to health insurance leads will impact your bottom line, in the short term, the answer is up for debate. As many know, large insurers participating in the ACA Marketplace are cutting back on some commissions. However, the situation varies in different parts of the country.
But what doesn’t vary for agents is that excellent service and tailored solutions win repeat business. For a long-term growth strategy, this matters most.
Customers who need an ACA subsidized plan today won’t always need or qualify for one. When the time comes to upgrade for better coverage or for more family members, they’ll come back to their trusted agent who got them a great ACA plan.
When those same customers need a term-life policy, auto or homeowners insurance, they’ll go back to an agent they trust. When they have a friend or neighbor who needs a great insurance agent, they’ll know just the person to call — you.
The fact is, educating your health insurance leads about subsidies is the smart thing to do for the long-term health of your insurance sales business. Today’s discount shopper may be tomorrow’s vacation home buyer. Forging long-term relationships with customers sets you up for future success and your book of business grows and matures. Make sure this Open Enrollment you help prospects get the right insurance for their specific needs.
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