Sometimes things just make sense. And this is one of those times…
A lot of agents have seen the opportunity created by the health reform legislation – namely, the millions of individuals who will become eligible for a subsidy when their employer drops its group health coverage or moves them to part-time status, whether that’s allowed or not. Many of these agents, however, don’t know how to get into the big accounts because most large employers already work with another agent or consulting firm.
Other advisors, usually those who work for large firms, focus exclusively on group health business and are not interested in the individual market, regardless of which way the market is moving. That doesn’t mean that they’re advising all of their clients to keep offering health coverage; on the contrary, many of these firms are busy providing their customers with “play or pay” analyses to help with their decision. They know that if some of these companies drop their group health coverage, their firm has plenty of other stuff, including P&C products, to sell them.
Many of these large agencies don’t have an individual solution at all. If one of their clients drops group health coverage or has a lot of part-time employees who aren’t eligible for the employer-sponsored plan, they’re not able to help the employees purchase an individual policy or apply for a government subsidy. Of course, this is a problem because their clients still need assistance.
By now, you’re probably seeing how this could work out well for both sides. Big agencies have lots of clients with employees who will qualify for a premium tax credit, but they have no way to help them. And lots of independent agents have a private exchange solution but need prospects that they can help. Wouldn’t it make sense for these two groups to work together – a strategic partnership if you will?
If you’re an agent who’s set up a private exchange site (or if you haven’t but you’re finally ready to), instead of knocking on a bunch of doors in an effort to find employers who need your help, why not knock on the doors of some of the big agencies in town? They probably need your help too, and they have plenty of clients they can send your way.
As an added bonus, you might want to recommend HPA’s Insight Catalyst Report (ICR) tool to the firms you partner with so they can help their clients make the best decision for their companies and their employees.