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A great way to serve more clients during the open enrollment period is to reduce the amount of time you have to spend with each one. Unfortunately, that can be difficult to do without a corresponding reduction in service. Difficult, but not impossible. What if you could save time AND provide better service to your group and individual clients?

Here’s an idea: instead of re-inventing the wheel every time you communicate with a client or prospect, use Outlook templates for emails you regularly send during the quoting, enrollment, and renewal process.

How to Find More Time During the Fourth Quarter

Here we are. Another fourth quarter. The busy time of the year. The three-or-so months when we have little time for friends or family, or anything else for that matter. Most agents work long hours from October through December, trying to take care of their existing clients and hoping to grow their business at the same time. Unfortunately, while the fourth quarter can be an exciting time, it can also be exhausting. Most of us find it difficult to get everything done, and naturally some things slip through the cracks. In this article, we wanted to share a few ideas to help you find more time during the fourth quarter. We hope you find a few that work for you.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period Is Back!

If you sell Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare Part D plans, then you are no doubt familiar with the Annual Election Period (AEP), which starts October 15 and ends December 7. The AEP is sometimes referred to as the “Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage.” In fact, the web page devoted to Medicare enrollment periods describes it this way.

The quick and easy way to create blog or newsletter content

We’ve written multiple times about the importance of providing news and information to your clients through regular blog posts on your website, client newsletters, and social media updates. The benefits of this marketing strategy are numerous:

  1. It establishes you as an expert in your field.
  2. It provides clients with important information that will help them make decisions and stay compliant. It may also encourage them to make a buying decision.
  3. It’s easily shared and can lead to referral business.
  4. It keeps you in front of your clients and prospects so they’ll think of you when they have an insurance need.
Expanded Short Term Plans

By now you’ve probably heard the news: the Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Department of Labor and Department of Treasury, has issued the final rule on the expansion of short-term, limited duration health insurance plans that the President called for in his executive order last October. The rule expands the length of short-term plans, which is a big deal for healthy individuals who do not have access to employer-sponsored coverage and who do not qualify for a premium tax credit.

Can Employers Pay Their Employees’ Medicare Premiums?

It’s a good question. Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), age is a huge rating factor for small-business employers, with health insurance carriers charging up to three times as much for older workers as they do for younger employees. While larger and self-insured companies are not subject to the ACA’s modified adjusted community rating rules, age is a big rating factor for them as well.

So what’s the answer? Can an employer pay for Medicare Part B and D, Medicare Advantage, and/or Medicare Supplement Insurance premiums for their employees, and either require or encourage them to drop off the group health plan? If so, it might be a good strategy for companies who have seen their premiums skyrocket in recent years, and it could be a great way for brokers to save their clients some money.

Changing from Marketplace to Medicare Coverage

If you’ve been selling Marketplace plans for the past five years, then you probably have a number of clients who are currently receiving premium tax credits. As these clients approach age 65, it’s important to let them know that they will no longer be able to receive a premium tax credit when they sign up for Medicare. Both and have pages devoted to educating consumers about this topic, but it’s unlikely that your clients will read this information unless you point it out to them.


We’re getting more and more questions from agents asking what they can sell right now. We know that the fourth quarter is the busy time of the year, but the other nine months can leave brokers twiddling their thumbs.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the “slow time” of the year provides a great opportunity to make plans for the next selling season. You can learn about new solutions that could be a good fit for your clients; line up prospects and pre-schedule appointments; and implement processes that will help make you more efficient.

Of course, you can only do so much planning, and it would be costly and irresponsible not to use the nine months between open enrollment periods to make some additional sales.

The Association Plan Final Rules Explained

Back in October, President Trump issued an executive order that, among other things, asked the Department of Labor to re-write the rules for Association Health Plans. On January 4, the DOL honored that request and issued proposed rules. After a comment period, those rules were finalized on June 19. Because the final rules are 198 pages long, we figured we’d save you some time and give you the high points.


Compared with 2018, the minimum deductible was unchanged for those with single and family coverage; the maximum out-of-pocket increased by $100 for people with self-only coverage and $200 for those with family coverage; and the contribution limit increased by $50 for self-only plans and $100 for family plans.

The catch-up contribution for those over the age of 55 remains $1,000 per year and must be deposited into an account in the individual’s name. That means that married couples age 55 and older must set up separate accounts if they both want to take advantage of the catch-up contribution.