How Did I Get Into Health Insurance?
For many of us in the health insurance field, a common question is to ask one another how we came to work in this industry. Most fell into this line of work by accident, if you’ll forgive the pun.
One common point of view is that we came to be here, and to work in this industry, because it’s ultimately very fulfilling. At the end of the day, no matter what role you perform, the end result is to help some person access care and receive the help they need when it’s needed most.
The timing could not be better for someone to find a career in the health insurance field. Politics aside, it’s clear people have a lot of questions about their own access to health care. Where there is great confusion, there is a great need to help people. What a fantastic opportunity for someone to be able to assist with this need and have access to an abundance of resources with years of experience, completely free to the person who wants it.
Just a few years ago any person wanting to work in the health insurance field had to be sponsored by a health-related company in order to receive the required licensing. The computerization of our industry has made this requirement obsolete. It is now possible to receive the proper licensing online for the cost of a typical college textbook. The process of completing the course work can be done in a week, and the testing a few short weeks later. Once the test is taken and passed, any individual can become a health insurance agent.
Health Insurance Is A Rare Breed
The health insurance industry is unique, as compared to all of the other types of insurance products for sale in the common marketplace. Most types of insurance require an individual be “contracted” with a provider to sell that company’s particular products. In the health insurance industry, the only thing you need is to have access to a quote engine.
The Word & Brown General Agency quote engine is provided to every licensed agent completely free of charge. Using this engine, you can quote most of the group health insurance products available in the state of California. You can also easily quote individual health through our partnership with Quotit® – where you have access to our complete Individual and Family Plan (IFP) portfolio, major carriers, and the hottest-selling products. If you have questions, a member of our team with many years of experience is available to you to assist you in the quote process. The thing that makes health insurance unique is that the carriers will contract with you after you have sold their product. The only additional requirement at this point would be to purchase for yourself an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. The cost of this protection will likely be covered by the commissions you earn on your first sold policy. CalSurance® offers affordable E&O rates to Word & Brown brokers – and it takes just five minutes to apply. More info is available here.
Finding Clients Is Key
One of the questions I get most often is “How do I find a person or group interested in buying an insurance policy?” Since 2010, most tax-paying individuals are required to have a health insurance policy or pay a penalty. Businesses, too, are required to offer coverage to employees, if they’re an Applicable Large Employer. (At least, that’s the current law under the Affordable Care Act, which is subject to change since the U.S. House of Representatives approved the American Health Care Act in May, which the U.S. Senate will take up next.)
Your first customer could the person right next to you. It could be the person who does your dry cleaning. One of the great leading questions is “Can I provide you with a free health insurance evaluation?” Most people are convinced they are paying too much, and by offering to evaluate their current situation you may have access to a variety of contacts. If they get their insurance through an employer, you may ask for an introduction or at least find out what type of insurance is being offered through their workplace. One of the most successful insurance agents ever simply walked through office parks introducing himself to people at the businesses there.
Quoting Is The Name Of The Game
Once you have a contact interested, you can generate an individual quote. If that person is part of a group, there are many more resources available to you. The quote engine can be accessed online or through an inside rep who is aware of the current market conditions and can give some direction as to the most popular options. You also have access to a field person with many years of experience who can help you with a prospect to evaluate and present the options. If the group would like to purchase one of the options, you can schedule an enroller to meet with the employees individually or as a group. Once again, all of these services are provided completely free of charge.
The title of this article is: If I knew then what I know now. If I knew then that I could have my own business for the cost of a textbook? If I knew then that I have the power to quote and sell insurance virtually from my phone? If I knew then that I have the power of experienced individuals with many years of expertise to assist me? If I knew then an opportunity exists that is unprecedented in the history of our country, in that most individuals and many businesses are required to buy health insurance? If I knew then what I know now, I would be a licensed health insurance agent with my own agency helping people find solutions before and when they need it most.
If you’d like to learn more about how Word & Brown will get started in the health insurance business, contact one of our six regional offices across California and Nevada.
Health Insurance Broker
For a sneak peek at what you can expect to earn as an insurance agent, get a copy of our “Insurance Broker Salary Guide.”