The health insurance industry is a constant state of change, so for those working in the industry, keeping up with new information and trends is vital to success. What's the best way to approach 2013? Perhaps with a fresh outlook, new ideas and some resolutions.
Here are what some brokers and advisors had to say about what they will try to do in the coming year.
Fully support employers as they help employees navigate the new world of benefits choices. Employees are about to face a potentially bewildering menu of new forms of benefits, including private health insurance exchanges and the growing selection of voluntary benefits. Advisors face the challenge of making sure employers are equipped with innovative products, communications tools and education resources matching the variety of needs and learning styles of the mix of generations in today's workplace. This is a unique opportunity to help employers communicate the value of their benefits program while at the same time helping them reduce employee stress and distraction by delivering benefit options meeting vital financial and health life needs.
—Donna Joseph, CEO, Rhodes-Joseph & Tobiason Advisors
(photo credit: Ambro)
Be a big brother or big sister. Mentor someone who shows promise in your organization, and teach them your skills. Grooming new sales people helps to grow your company, and it makes you a better person. The student learns from the master, and the personal growth that results within everyone improves you, your protégé and your business.
—Mark Roberts, manager of national accounts, Careington International Corporation & Careington Benefit Solutions
(photo credit: Stuart Miles)
Trust the process and persevere. I know that if my presentation is so bad that I say, "You wouldn't want to buy anything, do you?" If I say that enough times in America, eventually someone will say, "I don't know, what are you selling?" and that will start the conversation.
—Brian Hicks, author, motivational speaker and vice president of business development at Piedmont Payment Services
(photo credit: Ambro)
Think through the multiple effects of PPACA/exchanges on the benefits world. And specifically, ask: What does my organization need to do to help our customers make the best choices? What new opportunities are there for my organization? What new competitive pressures do we face from public and private exchanges? How can my organization be a leader in playing an advisory role with clients (not a more traditional role of product/service shopping and selection)? What do we need to change to be ready for Jan. 1, 2014?
—Marty Traynor, vice president, voluntary benefits and group products, Mutual of Omaha
(photo credit: Idea go)
Read every day. There are articles every day about compliance issues, sales approaches, what works and doesn’t work that you ought to take 10 minutes every day to read, absorb and use again. This little bit of mental exercise will fundamentally make your business better, and help you feel better prepared, and less scared, for what’s next.
—David Smith, vice president of health and welfare benefits, Ebenconcepts
(photo credit: Naypong)
Make an impression. I resolve that in 2013, I will redouble my efforts to be meet face-to-face with my customers to reinforce the value that voluntary permanent life insurance provides for their clients.
—Carroll Fadal, distribution officer, American Fidelity Distribution Arms, Texas Life
(photo credit: adamr)
Think health reform. Refine your health care reform approach/model and integrate it into voluntary sales efforts to produce one, comprehensive go-to-market strategy.
—Gil Lowerre, president, Eastbridge Consulting Group
(photo: President Barack Obama signs the health care reform bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Associated Press/Charles Dharapak)
Embrace voluntary products. By now we have all heard, in many cases numerous times, that voluntary benefits are highly sought after by employees of all ages and should be part of your strategic plan in implementing these with your client base. So if you haven’t fully invested in making the inclusion of voluntary products in your strategic plans, 2013 needs to be the year you begin executing upon this. It will position you as a valued strategist with your clients, as well as create higher retention for your firm in a very competitive marketplace.
Now that your hopefully putting pen to paper with this plan, why not consider those voluntary benefits that have the most impact and value to employees from a participation standpoint. An example of a highly utilized benefit would be an auto and home product that 99.9 percent of your population already needs to purchase. Why wouldn’t an employer want to offer this, at a reduced rate mind you, to their employees? Also, as a voluntary benefit these are always at no cost to the employer. I call this a triple play—win for you, win for the employer and a win for employees in saving them money on products they need.
—Mark Parabicoli, assistant vice president and managing director, auto & home voluntary benefit programs, Liberty Mutual
(photo credit: vichie81)