Category Archives: Individual Health Insurance

Insurance Sales Success – Build Life-Long Relationships

A foundation for insurance sales success is never built on one time sales. To have a highly successful career you must develop life-long relationships with your clients that lead to repeat business and referrals. You have to plan to make that happen from the beginning by being able to answer a few key questions that each person has on their mind.

Each person you reach out to always wonders why you are contacting them. You need a really good reason for why they are the kind of person you work with and the ultimate result you’ve helped others just like them to enjoy. Everyone has a, what’s in it for me, filter through which all communications are judged. When you can communicate a powerful ultimate result you have a better opportunity to gain their attention.

The next thing they are thinking is, why are you the person who should help me with this. You must be able to communicate that you understand them and their needs. They need to know that you’ve helped people just like them, and that helping people like them is the focus of your business. When you can communicate why you are the person they should be talking to you’ve bought yourself a little more time. They understand why you because they understand that you have more to offer people like them than your competition.

A big challenge in insurance sales success is that your now isn’t necessarily the customers now. The people who agree to meet with you are always asking themselves why they should take action now versus some other point in time. Until you can clearly communicate a value that exceeds the cost, later will always be a better choice. You can’t communicate this value until you understand the implications and value of your proposition yourself. Then you must be able to communicate both the value and the time implications in a succinct manner that clearly helps the people you meet with to understand that now is a better choice for them.

When you’ve done all these things right you’ve started a relationship that has the potential to last a life-time. Don’t drop the ball here though by thinking that’s all you have to do. A life-long relationship requires maintenance on a regular basis. When you do all these things right your reward is repeat business and high quality referrals.

- The HIC Group Executive Team

5 Tips to Get Out of an Insurance Sales Slump

You look at the sales chart and it is pretty obvious that you have not been having any new business in the last several days. You know insurance business is tough and you have been working hard yet the results are not forthcoming.

You start to have self doubt and wonder if you should continue to stay in this business. You feel you are now trapped in a slump and may even think of giving up selling all together.

So, what do you do to bring yourself out of the slump?

(a) Take time off

Your mental batteries are running low and they need to be recharged. You need an attitudinal adjustment. You may take some time off to go for a walk or enjoy your favorite Baskin Robbins.

When we are in a different environment, our perceptive can easily change. Our attention will be diverted on what happens in the surrounding. Sometimes an exciting new experience can shake unproductive emotions off our mind.

Once in a while, we need time off. However, we have to alert ourselves to get back into the driver seat and set our actions in motion.

(b) Talk to your associates

Talk to your associates. Your conversation with your associates may spark off some new ideas. New ideas have the inherent power to motivate people to jump off their seats and start working.

Chat with your associates who recently closed some cases and learn how they do their business. This may provide some insight to you about the market trend out there. Besides, it also spices up your competitive spirit.

(c) Stay positive

One effective way to defuse disappointment arising from poor sales performance is to be positive. Think positive, stay positive and you will act positive that brings you positive results.

Keep a smile on your face. Our emotions and physiological changes are interdependent. Your physiological movement has an effect on our emotions. Fake it till you make it.

(d) Visit existing clients

No other form of support is more meaningful than that from your customers. In our business pursuit, the best encouragement is none other than the answer “yes” from the customers when we ask for a purchase commitment.

The fact that they made the purchase is an indication of they have faith in you and that they believe you will continue to stay in the business to service them. Simply touch base with an existing client and you may end up closing a deal or getting a referral.

(e) Go to talk to someone in the street

Leave your office and get out and see the people! Say hello to the florist or the dobby owner down the street and strike a conversation. If they are not interested to engage in any conversation, just move on.

Talk to people in the street whom you have not met in your life. After your first conversation with them, they are no longer the strangers. Talking to strangers opens up new opportunities. They may turn up to be your best customers.

Feeling dejected is part and parcel of the life of salespeople. No matter what it is, treat this as your full time job, stay on track and don’t be swayed by distractions. In fact, many successful people anchor their darkest moments in life as spring board to bounce back to achieve even greater success.

- The HIC Group Management

 

Obamacare Is Still Divisive

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Obama administration’s healthcare reform legislation is still sparking a variety of opinions. The organization, which tends to be sympathetic to the law, recently released its final poll before the November midterm elections. It consists of 1,200 adults surveyed in early October.

What were their findings? As expected, opinions continue to be divided. However, the figures have flip-flopped. This is interesting, since the bulk of the law has yet to be implemented. The few features that came into effect in late September (i.e. forbidding health insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions) are generally popular with the American public. The ramping up of political campaigns may be to blame.

Highlights of the poll:

  • 44 percent of the respondents are opposed to the law. This is an increase from 40 percent last month.
  • 42 percent support the legislation, down from 49 percent in September.
  • Just 10 percent of the respondents consider health insurance reform to be the most important issue in the November 2nd elections–jobs and the economy are more pressing concerns for the majority.

However, the most likely voters polled by Kaiser are leaning towards having negative views. Still, they were not found to be significantly likely to base their votes for Congress solely on that issue.

Those against the law have several reasons for their opposition:

  • The federal government recieves too much control over health care.
  • The law costs too much and will add to the budget deficit.
  • It is unfair to the middle class, in favor of the poor.

Supporters have their own view.   According to them, the most significant benefits are:

  • That health insurance plan reform will make coverage more affordable.
  • It is an improvement over the current system.
  • Previously uninsured people will be able to get health coverage.

The last Kaiser Health Tracking poll prior to the close of the 2010 election season proves that the battle over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not end soon.

- The HIC Group executive team

Individual Health Insurance – The Difference Between HMOs and PPOs

If you are searching for an individual health insurance plan, you will undoubtedly encounter both Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs).

Both HMOs and PPOs are types of “managed care” insurance.  Managed care plans are structured around concept of a network, which refers to a group of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.

Now that the definitions are out of the way, let’s look at the differences between an HMO and PPO.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

HMOs are offer good care at a low cost.

Under an HMO plan, healthcare is provided by doctors who are members of the HMO network.  From a coverage standpoint, the defining feature of an HMO is the concept of a primary care physician.  This doctor is the primary point of contact for all medical needs, and is required to provide a referral prior to patients seeing a specialist.  While this referral system is in place to more efficiently manage costs, limits your flexibility to see a specialist directly.

From a cost perspective, HMOs are more affordable relative to PPOs.  They generally carry a very low deductible, if any at all.  A low deductible can meaningfully reduce your medical costs in a scenario where you are in need of significant medical care.  HMOs will typically have a small co-payment for both doctor visits and prescription drugs.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

PPOs are offer greater flexibility in terms of patient care, but have a higher cost when compared with HMOs.

You may have a general physician under a PPO plan, but the plan does not require a referral prior seeking the attention of a specialist.  In addition, PPOs provide some insurance coverage for out-of-network doctor visits, which are not covered at all in an HMO plan.

The increased range of options associated with a PPO leads these plans to be somewhat more expensive relative to HMOs.  These higher costs come in the form of higher deductibles, as well as higher co-payments.

Bottom Line  

When looking for individual health insurance, both HMOs and PPOs are good coverage alternatives.  To minimize costs, go with an HMO.  To maximize choices, sign up for a PPO.

- The HIC Group executive team

How Will Obamacare Effect the Self Employed?

A growing demographic that may benefit from affordable health insurance reform is the self-employed. Whether by choice or circumstance, millions of Americans are now working for themselves and freelancing. Self employment offers far more freedom and flexibility than working for a company. The downside is that it does not come with benefits. Therefore, self employed individuals are usually responsible for buying their own health insurance.

In a handful of states, self employed individuals are considered a “group of one” and allowed to purchase group health insurance, which is often less expensive and less restrictive in terms of eligibility. Currently, the rest of them must make do in the individual health insurance market. The situation is not ideal for those who are self-employed with pre-existing conditions. Most health insurance plans won’t take them, because they are not considered profitable enough.

If they are accepted, the guaranteed issue insurance plans they qualify for often come with very expensive premiums.

Healthcare reform seeks to change all that. Immediately after passage, health insurance companies would no longer be allowed to deny coverage based on an applicant’s health status. With the exception of fraud, insurers will no longer be allowed to cancel an existing policy, either. Further changes will take effect in 2014. The most important among them is the establishment of a health insurance exchange market: a national exchange of insurance options with various coverage and pricing options. The federal government will have more power to regulate these individual health insurance plans because it will fully or partially subsidize their purchase. Insurers will create plans that qualify for inclusion in order to take advantage of the increased revenue from millions of new customers.

As for the subsidies, they will be given to millions of eligible lower- and middle-income Americans in the form of tax credits. This will allow them to fulfill the health insurance mandate with a lower burden on their income. Self-employed individuals and families with higher incomes will see less benefit from that aspect of reform. However, they will still be allowed to participate in the exchanges, which are based on the health benefits system used by Congress and other federal employees.

 

Thank you for visiting our Blog.  If what you read was helpful or if you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will be sure to respond in a timely manner.

- The HIC Group executive team

Healthcare Reform – Start by Reforming Yourself!

Stop for a minute and think. What is health insurance? Really. Ideally, it’s protection against the cost of being sick. That’s what we’re paying for. We spend millions of dollars insuring that if we get sick someone else will foot the bill.

Why don’t we take care of ourselves? If you eat properly, drink enough water, get up off the couch, go outside, breathe fresh air, stop smoking, stop taking over the counter drugs, cook our own food, hug your family, and get a good night’s sleep. Would you still need health insurance? Probably. But let’s break this down a little more.

Eat properly, drink water and cook your own food. Sounds easy, right? Our bodies are complex machines that run on a specific but basic diet. Whole, balanced foods with fresh, natural ingredients. No processed food, no modified food starch, artificial ingredients, chemicals you can’t spell or pronounce. What would happen if you put oil in your gasoline tank and gasoline in the oil tank? Your car would blow up! That’s what we’re doing to ourselves. If you continue to put the wrong fuel in your body – you get cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure – all manner of fuel related diseases. Next time you go to the grocery store only buy foods on the perimeter. If it has an ingredient label – you don’t need it. If you read the label (and it makes sense to you) has 5 ingredients that you can readily identify, okay. Other than that – warning! Red flag! Our bodies consist of more water than anything else – why would you replenish it with soda? Oh, you only drink diet soda? Oh, did I miss where chemical sugar is pure? Be informed. You’ll lose weight, your skin will clear up, you’ll be a regular bathroom visitor and you’ll have more energy to cook your own food. Save money – eat at home.

Get up off that couch, go outside and do something! Do you remember in school when you first saw that picture in a text book of the human bodies muscular system? All those tendons, criss-crossing across your skeleton with those bug eyes. Scared me! Now conjure up that image again. Add 80 lbs, a beer gut, sagging, atrophied, muscles – all loose. That should scare you now. Raise your arms out to the side move them back and forth. What’s that jiggle? That’s what I thought – get outside! Bike, walk, garden, wash your car, hang the laundry out. Bet you sleep better too!

We spend money on everything but our health. Taking care of your machine, your engine, your body should be paramount! Your body is a temple – you’ve heard that before, but what does your temple look like? Candy wrappers, cigarette butts, a video game system, a recliner, a TV-remote, dirty laundry and a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese?

Work on reforming your health. It will add years to your life!

Thank you for visiting our Blog.  If what you read was helpful or if you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will be sure to respond in a timely manner.

- The HIC Group executive team

Individual Health Insurance & ObamaCare

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as the health reform bill will impact almost every American. One of the most important ways it will affect individual health insurance is that insurance companies will not be permitted to deny insurance to those with preexisting illnesses. Another important affect is that all Americans will be required to hold insurance. Insurance companies will be prohibited from placing annual and lifetime limits on coverage. Group health exchanges may also help to reduce the cost of insurance plans, giving individuals the buying power of large companies. You will be able to purchase insurance through a state exchange from 2014. The exchanges have yet to be formed, but the intended goal is to provide more affordable and subsidized individual plans. The Obama effects on individual health insurance addresses the biggest weaknesses in the individual health insurance market. Easy To Insure Me

As the reform bill was passed policy rates were climbing. A report revealed that members of the middle class were losing health insurance faster than any other income group. Those who missed the Government provided safety net because of their income were thrown on the mercies of the individual market. Here, insurers have been denied coverage based on preexisting conditions and are vulnerable to charges of high and ever increasing premiums.

The limits insurers placed on who gets coverage is one of the three major problems that needed to be addressed in the individual market. The other two are the affordability and whether the policy would pay for what is needed when the insured gets sick. A study found that excluded conditions varied by insurer.

In a 2001 study by the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, researchers 37 percent of applications were rejected. There were insurers who would turn you down if you had hay fever. The public thus was a victim of a roulette insurance market. How easy is it for individuals to wade their way through the market to insurers who would cover them is a question. Although federal law requires insurers to sell policies to certain people who lose group coverage, including those who lost their jobs due to lay offs; but places no limits on what an insurer can charge. In February 2010, Connecticut announced that health premiums for individual medical plans rose in price by 20 percent over in 2009. In this void have stepped some states in varying degrees. Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont required insurers to sell individual policies to everyone, irrespective of their health. Washington state required insurers to take individuals with some health problems. While, Iowa required insurers to cover preexisting conditions in new applicants, if they had insurance previously for those conditions and did not let the insurance lapse.

Of those who do buy their own insurance the health insurance market works well for some; but, not for others. In the individual market prior to the reform bill, in order to lower their risks insurers preferred the healthiest applicants. In most states, insurers may consider the health history of the applicant in deciding coverage and its cost. Unlike group plans offered by employers which provide coverage to everyone, there is no guarantee in most states individuals can obtain insurance. It has been realized that solving problems in the individual market would improve the health care crisis. In California, Connecticut and several other states regulators have taken actions against insurers who revoked individual coverage after policyholders fell ill. Before the President won the election Senators Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and Bob Bennett, a Republican from Utah were supporting a bill that would shift workers getting coverage through employers to purchase their own insurance. The intention of their proposal was to break the link between employment and insurance. The two supporters of the bill believed this would let people keep their coverage even when they lost or switched their job. The proposal would have required everyone to have coverage and insurers to sell insurance to all applicants. The health reform bill has addressed these failings. Both presidential candidates had expressed the desire to improve options for people who buy their own coverage. Candidate Obama wanted to allow individuals and small firms to have the bargaining leverage and purchasing power of latge firms by creating ways for individuals to buy insurance in groups. Advisors to candidate McCain had acknowledged the current system was broken. Douglas Holtz Eakin, who was a senior policy adviser noted that he did not want to give the impression the individual or small group market is a good place to be, as it was not

The public hospitals have been at the vanguard of the victims of inadequate and absent coverage. They have provided for the uninsured and those under insured by Medicaid, that reimburses them at below cost. They are also unable to compete with private and nonprofit hospitals for patents with private health insurance coverage. Yet, the cost of providing care to the uninsured and under insured has climbed and taxpayer support remained static.

Currently employers are looking to shift more burdens to their employees due to rise in the cost of health insurance. A Reuters research team in analyzing claim data has discovered that smaller employers saw costs rise the most. According to a report released in March 2010, the cost for an employer to offer individual plans to workers increased by 43 percent over a eight-year period. The amount employees paid for the single plans increased over 64 percent.

Large corporate employees have enjoyed the most secure and highest quality coverage in the nation during their employment. They have not been victimized during their employment with revocation or denial due to preexisting conditions. Nevertheless, a recently released annual survey by the National Business Group on Health has indicated that the impact of rising costs means this island of safety is about to be buffeted. This surveyed large employers indicated they were considering shifting more of the cost on their employees.

Harvard researchers looking into what portion of bankruptcy filers filed for medical reasons found some enlightening information. They found that illness caused the majority of filings. The study looked at a year that preceded the housing bust; but reveals what is the general scenario absenting this reason. The larger segment of filers were covered by insurance they lost or proved to be inadequate. Majority of these were middle class homeowners who had college degrees. The study revealed the vulnerability of Americans who were literally one major illness from bankruptcy. There are big Obama effects on individual health insurance coverage. Certainly there are due to be major Obama effects on individual health insurance.

Thank you for visiting our Blog.  If what you read was helpful or if you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will be sure to respond in a timely manner.

- The HIC Group executive team

Individual Health Insurance 101

You may be asking yourself, what’s individual health insurance? Individual health insurance companies offer insurance to a single person instead of groups. Why is that? Some people don’t have access to group health insurance either because their employer has no medical benefits or if he or she is unemployed. Individual health care companies can be very helpful to these people.

Health insurance companies have quotes and rates made for individuals. Picking the right La Quinta insurance can help you save thousands of dollars in medical expenditure. To find the best company for you, then simply take the time and research the best rates from a company.

You can actually find health insurance companies online. You can use health insurance company websites, insurer websites, and even search engines to find rates among insurance companies. Check their sites to see if you can get quotes online. There’s a variety of options to choose on the internet, but you can also ask people you know for any recommendations. Being referred by someone you can trust will make you feel confident that the company will give you fair quotes.

Always consider your budget before signing up. For premium, prepare to shell out a few hundred dollars a month for a family plan.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t understand the quotes and insurance jargons from insurance companies. Sometimes it takes a professional  agent to make the right decision. Don’t be shy in asking them questions about policies and terms. You must know how much you need to pay under special circumstances. Don’t forget to consider special coverage from health insurance companies for expected future expenses.

Make sure that the rates that you get from these health companies are not only fair, but legit. Don’t just settle for cheapest. It’s important that you get the most reliable insurance company.  Don’t forget: in this day and age, medical expenses can be a pain.

Thank you for visiting our Blog.  If what you read was helpful or if you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will be sure to respond in a timely manner.

- The HIC Group executive team