For the past few years, HPA has said, again and again, that private exchanges help brokers maximize their time by letting someone else take care of the “second sale.” The first sale, of course, is convincing an employer or other organization to let you have access to their employees or members so you can talk with them about their health insurance options. Access to an agent and to information about the individual mandate, premium tax credits, market reforms, and other health reform topics is definitely a benefit to a company’s employees or an association’s members, and these organizations don’t really have anything to lose by giving you access to the employees.
But once you’ve conducted a group meeting or provided some other communication to the individual health insurance prospects, you can direct them to your private exchange site and accompanying call center for the second sale, where they’ll talk with a licensed agent to make their plan choice and apply for financial assistance. If a broker had to sit down one-on-one with each employee, there’d be no time to move on to the next organization; she might very well spend the entire open enrollment period working with just one or two companies’ employees.
Well, here’s another way private exchanges can save brokers valuable time. Two ways actually.
- First, when you send people to your private exchange site, someone else is doing the actual selling, and you receive a portion of the commission. That means that you don’t have to sit through the Marketplace training that agents who are handling the second sale have to complete each year. The training is a hassle, so being able to skip that step will save you some time and frustration.
- Second, since you’re not having the detailed conversations with the employees about their specific situations, you don’t have to learn the ins and outs of every plan in each of your target markets, nor do you have to learn all of the details about the latest changes to the health reform law. Sure, you need to be able to talk at a high level about the ACA’s requirements and opportunities, especially as they pertain to individuals, but you don’t need to search the headlines every morning for the latest change that needs to be communicated to your clients. That, too, is a big time saver.
Basically, when you have a private exchange site, assuming individual coverage is your primary focus, your job is to generate leads. So that means you can talk with an employer, get some time in front of the employees, do the dog and pony show, and then move on to the next employer. You get to work more at a macro level than at a micro level. You can focus on the big picture while someone else does the detail work.
On the other hand, if individual coverage is not your primary focus—perhaps you sell group health insurance or even property & casualty insurance—then a private exchange allows you to focus your time on what you do best but still take advantage of the opportunity when you do get an individual lead. Instead of saying “sorry, I can’t help you” to a part-time employee ineligible for the group plan or a soccer mom who buys auto insurance from you, you can say “I have a solution for you.” Isn’t that better?
To learn more about private exchanges and how they can help you save time and grow your business, click here.