As you know, the annual open enrollment period starts tomorrow (yes, on a Saturday), so we just wanted to wish you good luck and share a couple of last-minute thoughts with you.
First, you shouldn’t expect everyone to know about the health reform law, the individual mandate, or the subsidies. Yes, it’s shocking that people can be that unaware of what’s going on around them, but American’s have an amazing ability to filter out stuff they’re not interested in. A recent Gallup poll confirms this: about 30% of those surveyed didn’t know about the individual mandate penalty. So with some of the people you talk with, you will be starting from scratch.
Second, what motivates people is different, which is why the government used both a carrot and stick approach to get people to sign up. Some will enroll in coverage because they don’t want to pay a penalty; others will be interested in the generous government subsidies. And still others will recognize the need for health insurance, possibly because they have a pre-existing medical condition. Use all of these – guaranteed issue, penalties, and subsidies – to help persuade people to enroll.
Leverage your time. There are millions of people without health insurance and millions of others who have health insurance but should probably make some changes. You have the knowledge to help these folks, but if you spend too much time with any one person, you’ll miss out on dozens or even hundreds of other potential sales. It’s a numbers game, so be sure to get in front of as many people as possible, direct them to your private exchange website, and let the call center answer questions and get them enrolled.
Finally, remember what you’re working for. And that means you shouldn’t work all the time. The open enrollment period occurs during the holiday season, but it also extends until February 15th, so you don’t need to work every minute of every day. Take some time off to enjoy the holidays with your family – you’ll never get the time back, so don’t waste it all doing work. One of the reasons for setting up your own enrollment website is to make better use of your time, so be sure to use it well.
For those of you who have partnered with Health Partners America, thank you. Good luck and happy selling.