What is the Affordable Care Act? (Major Medical)


The Affordable Care Act is the government's solution for healthcare for anyone who needs it in The United States.  If you meet certain income guidelines, then the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be a great resource to find healthcare you can afford. 

The Affordable Care Act is referred to as MAJOR MEDICAL. Major Medical is anything offered by the Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Marketplace, AKA Obamacare). There are other insurance plans out there that are included in the Major Medical category, but you will not be selling them (Corporate insurance plans, group plans, Medicare, Medicaid, etc). Major Medical is a complicated beast, but we use it because some of our clients need it as their health coverage.

The ACA can also be referred to as a Health Exchange. These health exchanges are run by each state, but overseen by the Federal Government. The government makes a lot of the rules for the Marketplace, and the states implement it. These plans are standardized, which means every single plan offered on the Marketplace must include the same Minimum Essential Requirements to legally classify it as "qualified health plan".  



Is the ACA Right For You?


1. Sick people who already have pre-existing conditions and need coverage for them.

2. People who don’t make a very good income, or are in the lower middle class. (if you make too little money, you will be kicked over to Medicaid or another                     state run assistance program. If you make too much money, you’ll pay full price for insurance which is usually way too much.).

3. People who don’t like the alternative - Short Term Medical insurance.

For the first two types of people, they will be getting a government subsidy – or a giant discount on their health insurance by going with the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Everyone else, like wealthy people and people who are REALLY poor… they will not get discounts, and must pay full price if they want a government sponsored plan.



Is It A Money Maker For Brokers? 


Major Medical is something we must offer because our clients need it. You do not make much money off of Major Medical plans. For the most part, you will make only $25 per submitted application, so that’s why we will stress the importance of providing other insurance products to better protect the client and also provide a paycheck that will keep you afloat. That’s why we encourage, where applicable, to offer STM plans instead.



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Why Would I Choose To Sell National General Products? 



They Are A Good Company!

They have improved a lot over recent years, and have become a very good carrier to turn to for Short-Term Medical, and Accident Medical Expense in my opinion. They are also very much intertwined with HST, so it's always good to write some policies for their company, and give some back to the organization that is supporting you so much. National General does a lot to help us out. 


They'll Help You Reach Partner Faster

The AV that gets counted toward Parter is multiplied by 1.25 before it is applied to your overall AV. No other carrier does that. That means that you get more bang for your buck, and you will get that much closer to Parter. Partner is a great milestone to achieve, so any advantage you can have in reaching that level would probably be appreciated. 


Cheap Plans For Young People

Most people in their 20's and early 30's will find that National General has very competitive rates for their health insurance needs. I always recommend comparing between United Healthcare and NatGen anyways, because in some states those roles are reversed. You just don't know, the rules for each state vary, so you just want to compare just in case. 


You'll Probably Get Paid Faster 

NatGen requires the applicant to pay for their first month's premium on the day they enroll, regardless of when the actual effective date (start date) will begin. So even if their policy starts tomorrow, or in 2  months, you will still have to pay the first month's payment today. This means that the company gets their money quicker, thus you get paid faster because they will cut you your commission check sooner. Keep that in mind if you need a quick payday. 


Their Accident Medical Expense (AME) is Superior To Other Plans

When policies become easy to write and you can pop them out super fast, you have a tendency to navigate to those types of policies. NatGen's AME policy does just that. It's cut and dry, to the point, and easy to explain to the prospect. This means that you can focus on their other applications, and perform excellent customer service by doing apps fast and getting the client out the door and on with their day. Having a long conversation with the "Insurance Guy" is probably not one of their highlights of the week! 


Whatever you do, just make sure that you always compare plans. Don't just sell NatGen without periodically checking United Healthcare, or HII for alternative options that might serve the client better. Just keep your eyes open and do what's right for the customer regardless of your commission and you'll do just fine. The more you think about the prospect's needs over your own, the more commissions you'll actually receive. Good Luck! 

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Why Should I Sell United Healthcare?



Everyone recognizes the name

It's one of the main STM options we provide

Their STM plans are usually less expensive

You can customize almost everything about their STM plans

Their Fixed Benefit options are excellent

If bundling STM and FB plans, only one app is required

It's great for old people

Quoting & applying is quick & easy


Everyone Recognizes The Name 


Sometimes you run across prospects that are sensitive to the name and reputation of the insurance carrier they get their health plan with, and would rather go into the insurance game already knowing the company by their name. If that's the case, then offer United Healthcare. Everyone knows UHC's name, they are widely known and recognized.

This is not a comparison of their quality or suitability of products... it's simply a way to name-drop to satisfy their concern and help overcome a possible objection before it gets too crazy and out of control. National General is a little less known to those out there that are purchasing private insurance for the first time, so these people may be better suited for a UHC plan, especially if you get a whiff of "brand-sensitivity".

Anything you can do to increase the confidence in your ability to deliver on their needs, DO IT! 



It's One Of The Main STM Options We Provide


Typically, you will be choosing between either National General or United Healthcare to satisfy your client's needs for STM products. They are the heavy hitters that have the most attention, most traction, and the ones you will get the most educational support for from your leaders.

When you are first starting to sell with us, the first two companies you're always hooked up with is National General and United Healthcare. Due to these carriers being the most common ones we use, the agent support on the insurance company side when you call in is also a lot better than most other companies that we may not give as much attention to. 

They usually tell you to pick one and learn how to pitch that one first, then focus on learning the other. This way you know how to do one thing right, before you learn how to do two things bad. 

Since these two carriers always have good company vacation trips you can win, or great cash incentives to motivate you to sell their products, we also recommend picking one to sell first because it'll increase your chances of getting the prizes or incentives offered by that company because you have written enough business volume to be granted the prize. 



Their STM Plans Are Usually Less Expensive


Now we are not talking about quality here, that remains purposely unaddressed. We are not referring to "one-is-better-than-another", this section remains neutral in that aspect. This is simply referring to the nitty gritty, "what's the lowest you can go, Mr./Ms. Broker?".  In this case, then price becomes king, and typically United Healthcare wins.

Now this is not always - some states have a higher price bracket for certain demographics and zip codes, so don't take that as doctrine. Just know if it comes down to nickle and diming it with a client, then you better just run both quotes just to make sure. 



You Can Customize Almost Everything About Their STM Plans


Sometimes clients will want a higher deductible, or a lower deductible, or they'll be sensitive to the coinsurance levels, or the max out of pocket, etc, etc. When you're building a plan for someone, it's easier when you have a lot of control over the STM plan details as possible. With UHC, you will notice you will be able to customize their entire benefits package for STM plans a lot more than other carriers.

This can prove very helpful especially when you have a picky customer, or someone that knows exactly what they want. Some plans out there are great because they are cookie-cutter plans and clients can be quoted and enrolled in a matter of a couple minutes. UHC's STM plans are great because it allows you the opposite - the ability to customize it vastly to meet the client's individual needs. 



Their Fixed Benefit (FB) Options Are Excellent


Typically you will find that Fixed Benefit plans can add a lot of money to the premium of someone's healthcare. If you are having a hard time fitting any more benefits into prospect's budget but you want to offer a FB plan in your quotes, then United Healthcare will be your best bet.

You will have four levels of benefits to choose from, and even at the bottom level the clients would still be getting $1,000/day if ever hospitalized. That's great! United Healthcare (UHC) will offer the most bang for their buck when purchasing a FB plan. 



If Bundling STM & FB plans, Only One App Is Required


The truth is, we want you to bundle policies as much as possible. It's going to be a win/win for both you and the client. It will help the client be protected from more angles, but it will also help you earn a better commission, and receive more of the weekly app count bonuses every week - how's an extra $200/week in bonuses sound?

The thing that sucks when you bundle, is it adds to the number of applications you'll want to finish with the client still on the phone. What this means is that you will just have a longer phone call, and if you're not good at fast data entry, impatient, or awkward at small talk, then this can be a challenge. One way to solve this is by bundling multiple products with the same company.

Now - you don't want to do this will ALL products the client needs, the only ones you want to do this "same-carrier bundling" with, is when that carrier has a tried and tested really good product for you to offer that client. NEVER sacrifice a customer's quality of benefits because you're too lazy to write an additional application! 

United Healthcare happens to have a great STM product, and a great Fixed Benefit (FB) plan. That means you will totally be supported in bundling these two plans together under the same carrier.

Typically I would use National General for their Accident Medical Expense (AME) policy... but sometimes I go with UHC if I'm already bundling STM and FB together. This will save you time so you can close that client and then get back on the phone and find your next needle among the haystack that is your prospect lead pool. 



It's Great For Old People


I find that old people have a tendency to be less expensive for both STM and FB through UHC. Like I said before, it may not be the case in every state, but so far it seems to be the majority. Since old people usually pay more for their insurance than any other age bracket in the private market, it's important to be extra attentive to prices when looking for plans. Just keep your eye out for those great premiums when shopping for grandma and grandpa. 



Quoting & Applying is Quick & Easy


The quoting process takes some time getting used to in the beginning, but once you get to know which products you like to offer, the process gets nice and smooth. I find inputting their information into their online app, and then getting them to pull up the confirmation email and digitally sign it has been a pretty easy process. Anything that makes your life as a broker easier, I am always supportive of! 



In Conclusion


UHC is a great option. I always recommend that you make your own opinion, and your own decisions when it comes to what you offer as a broker. Everyone's quotes and pricing will be different. Find what works for you and go out there and quote quote quote, close, close, close...!