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Does your computer autocorrect HSA? Here’s the fix.

As the number of Health Savings Accounts has increased in recent years, agents across the country have become increasingly frustrated with the way their computers “autocorrect” the letters “HSA,” converting the acronym to an all-cap version of the word “HAS.” It’s annoying, isn’t it?

Some people attempt to overcome this built-in Microsoft Office glitch by hitting backspace a few times and typing “HSA” a second time. When you type the same thing two times in a row, Office seems to realize that you actually meant to spell it the way you did. Other brokers will leave a space between the letters, so it becomes H S A in your emails and other writings. Still others will put a period between each letter: H.S.A. That sort of makes sense since “HSA” is short for “Health Savings Account,” so putting dots between the letters is technically correct. The problem, though, is that there are a million acronyms in the insurance industry, but we don’t normally include periods when writing them.

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It’s now been a year since the 2016 presidential election and nearly ten months since inauguration day. By now, most of us expected major portions of the Affordable Care Act to be repealed and thought the individual mandate would be one of the first parts to go. That hasn’t happened, of course, which means that our clients are still required to purchase health insurance or face a penalty under the ACA’s shared responsibility provision.

In short, the individual mandate requires people to:

  • Have “minimum essential coverage” each month of the year (from a group or individual policy or from a government program like Medicare or Medicaid),
  • Qualify for one of the many available exemptions, OR
  • Make a shared responsibility payment when they file their taxes if they don’t’ have MEC
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Using Headlines to Sell More Insurance

In previous articles, we’ve talked about the power of social media to generate leads and stay in touch with clients and prospects. Specifically, we’ve explained that content marketing, in which you share some valuable information in a way that doesn’t sound too salesy, can be especially effective at maintaining interest and creating likes and shares.

In addition to providing helpful information to your clients, there’s another reason to share current news stories: it can help you sell more insurance. This works best when you find a news story that directly relates to a solution you have available. Here are a few examples.

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Final Expense: Something Everyone Needs

They say the only two things in life that are guaranteed are death and taxes, and since most of us aren’t CPAs, we should probably focus our attention on the former rather than the latter.

Hopefully, you’re already selling life insurance. If you’re not, there are three good reasons to consider it:

  1. Your clients need it.
  2. If you don’t recommend it to your clients, chances are nobody else will.
  3. The commissions are great.

Life insurance, of course, isn’t for people who die but rather for the loved ones who outlive them. It helps to replace some of the lost income from the person who passes away and helps beneficiaries preserve their current lifestyle.

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It’s Selling Season! Here are a Few Reminders.

As you can probably tell, we’re pretty excited here at America’s Health Care Plan. We’re entering the fourth quarter, and very soon the busy time of the year in the Individual, Medicare, and Group Health markets will be upon us. It’s a time of great opportunity, especially this year, so we wanted to offer a few pointers to help you maximize your time and, therefore, your selling potential. We hope you can find a nugget or two in our words that will help your business.

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Are you selling dental? You should be.

In the weeks ahead, you’ll be visiting in person or by phone with almost every one of your clients and prospects. That means that you have a great opportunity, with a slight adjustment to your normal sales pitch, to increase your income substantially while offering a great benefit that both individuals and employers will be interested in.

We’re talking, of course, about dental insurance. Do you make a habit of showing it during your sales presentations? If not, now would be a great time to start.

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Medicare 101

In just a few weeks, the Annual Election Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans will open, and when it does agents who had intended to start selling Medicare products this year, perhaps because of the instability in the individual market, but who failed to get certified to sell those products will have missed their opportunity. Sure, they can still sell supplements all year long, but the big opportunity that comes only once a year will be behind us and they’ll have to wait until October, 2018 for their next chance.

To help those of you who are still deciding whether to expand your portfolio to include Medicare-related products or not, we thought we’d provide a short “Medicare 101” tutorial. And for those of you who already sell Medigap policies, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, this should serve as a nice refresher. Since it’s often necessary to educate clients and prospects about what they currently have before explaining what their options are, knowing how to do that in concise terms may prove helpful. Here we go…

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What’s Your Job Description? Is It Changing?

When a company is searching for a new employee, it often provides a “job description” that explains the qualifications for the position in terms of experience and education, highlights the big areas of responsibility the job would entail, and details the various tasks the employee would be expected to perform on a daily basis. It helps applicants determine if they meet the job requirements and sets expectations once they’re offered the position.

Of course, job descriptions tend to change over time as the business grows and evolves, and occasionally managers will revisit the job description and make necessary adjustments to set goals and expectations for the next year. This usually happens during the employee’s annual review,

Interestingly, a lot of business owners—including many independent agents and brokers—rely on formal job descriptions for the people who work for them but fail to develop a job description for themselves. Instead, they wear a lot of hats and just do whatever needs to be done.

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Will they really let Obamacare fail?

By now, everyone’s heard the news: the Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have failed in the Senate. After three unsuccessful votes—first on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, then on a repeal and delay bill, then on a skinny repeal—majority leader Mitch McConnell declared on July 27 that “it’s time to move on.” For now, repeal & replace is dead, though the efforts could certainly be revived sometime in the future.

While there is much disappointment among Republicans and their supporters at this apparent failure, members of both parties are now saying that they need to work together on a bipartisan solution. Of course, time will tell whether this can really happen, but many lawmakers are saying that they’re willing to give it a try. In fact, a bipartisan Senate panel will be holding hearings on September 6th and 7th on stabilizing the individual insurance market.

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What is Concierge Medicine?

As premiums continue to increase and plan designs are tweaked to keep costs under control, today’s health insurance policies are quickly turning into catastrophic coverage. They’re great if you have a big, unexpected medical expense but aren’t all that useful for some of the day-to-day needs like doctor visits and prescription drugs. Sure, members do get the benefit of the carrier’s negotiated rate if they stay within the insurance company’s shrinking provider network, but consumers are beginning to realize that there are other options outside the health plan that might help them save money while receiving better care. And as health insurance plans cover less and less, we’ll see more and more of these non-insurance solutions.

One solution that’s growing in popularity is direct practice medical care, sometimes called “concierge medicine.” Without the predictable office visit copayments that consumers have relied on for years, many people have started paying a monthly fee for unlimited access to their family physician.

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California Consumer Privacy