A Market and Product Outlook (And How You Can Use It for Your Agency)
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Recently, I gave a run-down of the current Medicare outlook, and how you can use it to benefit plans for your agency or business. After 43 years in the insurance business, I have seen markets come and go, and rely on experience to assess current marketing trends. I’d like to provide some new thoughts on how you can take advantage of markets and products that will affect your production in a variety of insurance sectors, from PPACA to life to LTC. Our overview will take a look at the following:
- PPACA and Traditional Medical Insurance
- Limited Medical, Hospital Indemnity, and Critical Illness Insurance
- Life Insurance—UL, Whole Life, Term or Final Expense
- Single Premium Whole Life Insurance
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Short Term Care Insurance
PPACA (Obamacare) and Traditional Medical Insurance—Very Unstable
Initial Sale Compensation—$ Renewal Compensation—$
There really isn’t any reason to make predictions here, except for one—Health Insurance, as we have known it, is in a mess, and the mess will continue through 2014. The president, the administration, and DHHS/CMS keep moving the goalposts for the evolution of the program. The president delayed the introduction of both the Employer Mandate for large companies and small business until after the elections of 2014. That was only the beginning, but it obviously was employed to limit the problems of dissatisfaction with the program until after November elections for Senators and Representatives. A prediction that this will have a terrific impact on those elections is in force—hands down.
After the employer mandates disappeared, then came the “rollout” of the individual mandate with its continual problems, general dissatisfaction, constant delays in effective dates, and changes to the legislation, some of which were considered unconstitutional by various entities. The program was loathed by millions of Americans who saw their Individual Major Medical plans disappear. Insurance companies involved in the “marketplace” were constantly caught second-guessing how to achieve what was supposed to be a profitable affair.
Navigators (those with little experience in health care matters) were paid as high as $48 per hour to pretend they had a grip on the situation. Insurance agents tore their hair out trying to achieve what they had been called on to do—and in the middle of the mess, one state asked 60,000 insurance professionals to jump in and help save the program through educated enrollments.
But, you can count on this—the IRS has not even yet been brought into play (even though the subsidies on behalf of enrollees are scheduled to begin on January 1 for the companies), and when it does, havoc will reign. There will be more finger-pointing than a convention of hearing impaired interpreters. The IRS will find it impossible to keep up with millions of enrollees’ tax returns, then tie them into expected subsidies. Fraud and corruption are likely to surface. In the meantime, some proponents will continue to support the ill-designed legislation, and counter that it is “good for America.”
But, wait, there’s a silver lining for you in all this !!! Look at the next item.
Limited Medical, Hospital Indemnity, and Critical Illness Insurance—Very, Very Stable
Initial Sale Compensation—$$$$ Renewal Compensation—$
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- Optimism rebounding among independent P&C agencies; leads to aggressive growth plans in 2017
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- Annual review of client needs only makes sense