How the new employer reporting requirements can help you sell lots of individual policies

Ok, so here’s an obvious statement: for agents who specialize in group health insurance, most if not all of their clients have a group health plan. Makes sense, right? If an agent sells group health and a company doesn’t offer health insurance to its employees, that company probably isn’t a client.

So why are we stating the obvious? Because this simple fact could help agents who specialize in INDIVIDUAL health insurance, not group health, generate a ton of qualified leads. Here’s why…

The Affordable Care Act requires applicable large employers (ALEs) – companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees – to complete an informational return with the IRS (IRS Form 1094-C) and provide a statement to all full-time employees (IRS Form 1095-C) early next year. This is true whether the employer offers health insurance or not.

Companies that do offer health insurance, of course, are probably aware of this requirement, though they may still be a little confused. Fortunately for them, they have an insurance aagent who can help them understand their reporting requirements and possibly recommend a good administrator who can make sure they’re in compliance.

Companies that don’t offer health insurance, though, don’t have an insurance advisor to tell them about the requirement and clear up any confusion. They could use some help, and that’s where you come in. The 6056 reporting requirement for applicable large employers is a perfect excuse for agents to contact companies with 50 or more employees. And if you find one that doesn’t offer health insurance and doesn’t have an agent to help them, you can offer some assistance.

Once you’ve helped them solve this problem, you’ll have gained some trust and can offer to help get their employees signed up for individual health insurance. Of course, you don’t have time to sit down with the employees one-on-one (after all, you’ll be busy hunting down other large employers), but you can provide the employees with access to your HPA private exchange website, where they’ll be able to compare their options, see if they qualify for a subsidy, and sign up for coverage. The licensed agents in our world-class call center can walk them through the process and help them find a plan that’s right for them and their families.

One question you might be asking yourself, though, is why a large employer that doesn’t offer health insurance would give you access to its employees (even after you help them with their reporting requirements). After all, ALEs that don’t offer health insurance pay an across-the-board penalty on almost all of their full-time employees if even one of those employees gets a subsidy in the individual market. That certainly seems like a good reason not to give employees access to a licensed agent, not to mention a call center staffed with licensed agents. However, it’s worth pointing out that once the first employee is getting a subsidy, there’s no additional penalty for any other employees who get a subsidy. So if the employer is already anticipating an employer shared responsibility penalty, there’s really no reason not to help the employees find health insurance and apply for a tax credit. In fact, access to the private exchange site is in itself an employee benefit.

As the uninsured rate continues to drop, individual health agents have to find creative ways to generate leads, and these large employers who need some help with their filing requirements could be a goldmine.

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