Obamacare continues to be plagued by carrier exits from the Marketplace. Come next Open Enrollment, aged health insurance leads are going to looking for affordable coverage and professional advice — by the tens or hundreds of thousands.
It’s not a pleasant situation for American health care consumers, but it is a reality in today’s marketplace. Insurance agents have the opportunity to be part of the solution to this unfortunate situation.
While some insured consumers would prefer to take no action, pending the outcome of the Congressional standoff over “repeal and replace,” that wait-and-see approach is no longer an option for 13,000 Anthem Marketplace customers in Ohio.
Anthem Exit Leaves 13,000 Uninsured
According to a story on the exit last month in BenefitsPRO, Anthem’s Ohio decision could be a sign of more to come:
Anthem, which currently oversees Affordable Care Act plans for about 1.1 million people in 14 states, is one of the largest of the multistate insurers that haven’t pulled back sharply from selling individual plans in the ACA.
In April, it said it was “assessing our market footprint in 2018,” and on Tuesday the company said it would leave Ohio.
The 13,000 Ohio Anthem customers who will need to find new coverage in 2018, are on top of an already 30,000 insurance consumers who will have to find new coverage outside the ACA next year. And the potential for more insurance shoppers is a whopping tenfold higher.
Potential for 300,000 More Uninsured
Ohio is just the first confirmed exit for Anthem. There’s thought Anthem could exit other State Exchanges, as have many large insurers — the law is creating significant financial losses on health care plans as it currently stands. The Congressional struggle to change the law and the Trump Administration’s condemnation of the current legislation doesn’t add to insurers’ Obamacare confidence.
BenefitsPro notes that should Anthem decide to cut its ACA losses in six further State Exchanges, more than 300,000 currently insured customers could find themselves shopping for new coverage come Open Enrollment.
The number of consumers who will need to buy insurance on the open market and not through an Exchange is also significant. Currently, there are reportedly 45 “bare” U.S. counties, that is those without any local ACA plan coverage. That number could rise to 355 bare counties, should Anthem quit Exchanges in Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia.
Opportunities for Aged Health Insurance Leads
Should Anthem pull out of these Exchanges, the next Open Enrollment could be a busy and hectic one. And though many of us are grilling outdoors and trying to stay cool this week, Open Enrollment is not that far away, less than four months away at this point. Agents need to be prepared, and now is not too soon a time to get started.
Opportunities can be found now in aged leads. Aged leads, those just a bit older at 30 to 90 or more days old, are a good option for health insurance agents looking to grow their business. With the unpredictable nature of the ACA, even those leads who bought a new Exchange policy last fall aren’t guaranteed to have it this year. Those who thought about switching and didn’t may have to change coverage, as well. Even parts of your current customer base may need to choose a different plan this fall.
These leads may be aware of this issue, or they may need education about the current status of their carrier in their state. This is a huge opportunity for agents, who can offer accurate, timely information and advice about the ACA and available coverage options.
Using an aged lead system that includes tools — like an autodialer, CRMS, drip email marketing — made for a high volume of leads, insurance agents can work a high volume of aged leads and see a strong ROI. Half of all aged leads will eventually close, and a full 90% of sales are found in aged leads.
Now’s the time to start contacting these leads to educate them about new developments in the health care marketplace and their options this coming Open Enrollment.
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