Health care reform and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, has rocked many business owners and the impact is rolling down hill to their employees. And, those costs being passed down to employees are now driving the demand for more voluntary benefit products to deal with rising deductibles and out of pocket exposures.
While these once-in-a-generation changes are affecting businesses in a big way, most businesses and their employees have little idea of how much the earth is moving below their feet. Consider these facts below from the 2014 AFLAC Work Forces Report.
- 79% of employees have no idea how healthcare will affect their lives
- 60% of businesses do not understand healthcare reform
- 45% of companies surveyed intend to increase their reliance on broker when making changes to their benefits plans.
This screams opportunity. Voluntary benefits for P&C agencies are a hand-in-glove fit with your existing business. You already have an established book of business and have knocked down most of the hurdles in developing a strong relationship with clients who know and trust you. While there is a long list of products available, the core products we recommend are typically Accident, Disability, Dental, Vision, Critical Illness and Hospital Indemnity. We also like term life insurance in certain situations.
The toughest question is always “where to start?” A good first step in evaluating which of your clients to approach would be by starting with those you have sold workers comp. It is proven that companies offering voluntary accident plans reduce their work comp claims. Think about it, how many of your commercial clients would be upset if you showed them a way to save money without spending a penny? Not only are you helping your client, but you are directly attacking the exposures employees have on their health plans. Your clients’ employees will see their employers as heroes.
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The elephant in the room for voluntary benefits is the enrollment process. More mistakes are made here than at any point. We suggest you work with a local enrollment company with proven experience. Your focus should be to leverage your client relationship and let the enrollment experts do the heavy lifting to get the program started. The enrollment company will go to your client’s office, meet with the employees and complete the enrollment. This of course is when you don’t want to do the selling. Otherwise, you are welcome to go out and enroll all your accounts yourself. Either way works.
It’s a win-win: you get to add value for your clients and generate a new revenue stream, all while staying focused on your core business!
The difference between those who succeed in today’s health care environment and those that do not is their ability to adapt. Successful agencies are adapting to the changing face of healthcare and taking advantage of this ripe sales opportunity. They are evolving and finding smart solutions to help clients fill the gaps in their coverage created because of the rapid changes in the industry.
There’s no reason why you can’t join in the fun because if you’re not talking with your clients about voluntary benefits someone else will.
If you would like to learn more about getting started with voluntary benefits or want more information about enrollment companies, please call us today at 866-547-8780 ext. 102 or email Drew Gurley at [email protected].