I am not an agent. I don’t work for an insurance carrier, and I’m not affiliated with a brokerage or wholesaler of any kind. However, I do consider myself to be a valuable component of the insurance industry as a whole.
When our family business came to Texas in 2001, it was to provide technology and operations workflow beginning with online enrollment, seamlessly gathering premiums, and separating them out for payment to various carriers. This job role has many names/titles, but the buzzwords for are “common remitter,” or “third party administrator,” or “single source.”
Our largest group had 106 carriers. This was an “in” that agents used at the time (and still do). This subject can involve lots of rabbit trails, and our experience is that agents show interest in that part of their benefits adventure.
That said, I think I have a unique perspective on the changing healthcare landscape. And, it is my hope that the information and opinions I share on the subject help you adapt to this historical change.
The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare exchanges are in the news a lot, especially noting the money they spent to launch in what many to consider to be a gargantuan administrative failure. We have done what the exchanges were supposed to do, including the back end for getting info to the carriers, for around 15 years. Our entire development cost is incredibly low compared to the exchanges. You can probably read between the lines regarding our thoughts about that. Agents can use lots of tools and perks for their customers—now more than ever.
In my humble opinion, Obamacare appears to be more of an overhaul of insurance as we know it, not healthcare. It does have enormous potential for negative impact, intended or otherwise, on agents and their livelihood. Any attempts to remove agents from the insurance-buying equation will certainly have a negative impact on the buying public. Hence, the more information we all have from a wider range of credible and experienced sources, the more protected and prepared we will all be whether you’re an agent, a company, or a consumer.
Remember. We’re all in this together. We need each other in order to continue doing our jobs competently and dynamically. Good luck as we all grapple with the future, and keep an eye out for my healthcare reform updates on AgenteNews.