It’s all about perspective.
Believe it or not, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be the independent agency’s opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade—it’s a significant marketing and sales opening for the entire industry. This law is a target-rich topic. You can’t get by with a one-and-done presentation, which is good news for active client interaction.
Position yourself as an invaluable resource and differentiate your agency by swooping in and proactively answering the questions clients and prospects might not even know they should be asking. Consider last year’s survey by the TransAmerica Center for Health Studies, which found that while 64% of employers “plan to take action” as a result of the law, only 20% could cite a specific change they anticipated making. Translation: Employers know action is necessary, but they might be uncertain where to start.
While it’s likely every business is open to education and insight, the sweetest sweet spot is probably small- to mid-size companies with non-existent or bare-bones human resources departments. This is where your hero moments are hiding.
Begin with a packaged or focused presentation of facts, segmented into easily digestible parts, along with a specific timeline for action. From new notification requirements to premiums and coverage demands, there’s certainly no shortage of topics from which to draw. Some topics to consider breaking out individually:
- Government exchange vs. private-market options
- Upcoming timelines and deadlines
- Compliance issues, with attention to employer risks and responsibilities
- Notification requirements
Regardless of where you begin, the ACA provides an excellent inroad to client discussion and comprehensive portfolio review.
Peter van Aartrijk is an IA contributor.
Know It All
Some independent agents shy away from highlighting the ACA—and let’s face it, there’s a lot to know. But you don’t have to know it all. You simply have to know where to find it all.
Consider these ready resources:
- Associations, such as the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) or the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP)
- Human resource advisory companies such as ThinkHR —P.V.