Defense of a (Health Insurance) Salesman

One of the many casualties of the new healthcare affordability act is the independent salesman.  The middle man the unnecessary cog in the machine that worked for the horrible word called COMMISSSIONS. They increased the cost of insurance, they sold inferior products.  And now they are no more! Oh don’t worry nobody really cares, the politicians didn’t, the insurance companies didn’t, the consumer didn’t, AARP didn’t.  I am a voice crying in the night, during one of your worst nightmares America. Beware “they gore my ox today, yours will be tomorrow”!

So per usual politicians think they can do it better, after all that’s what government is isn’t? Either way the government thinks they can do it better. How does the saying go? Those that can’t do govern? Or was that “those that can’t do teach” either way here we are. For 12 years I drove 50K miles a year, running 20 or more appointments with small business owners, self employed and those without work coverage.  I wrote thousands of individual contracts by hand over that time period. I marketed by hanging signs on telephone poles, by sending out mailers, and running smalls ads in the local rag. I and my family survived on the horrible word “commissions” somebody had to do it, health insurance will not sell itself.  Over 30% of those contracts where for people uninsured prior to meeting me. Yes, you’re correct; I am blowing my horn because no one else will. The private sector fills needs; if they can make an income filling those needs then they will continue.  I can remember sitting in family homes after the wife called on one of my ads. Her eyes would be begging me to convince her husband to buy; many times they would have children and would be uninsured.  It was a burden and I am proud to say I always left people better off than before they met me. And I never wore a red tutu.  But of course the government can do it better.

It’s never been about affordability, it’s been about want-ability or priority. Granted affordability was an issue for people with pre-existing conditions, but that certainly was not the majority.  On many of my appointments I would pull into the driveway of uninsured families.  Two new car payments in the driveway, swimming pool in the back yard, pool table in the den, but no health insurance.  And regardless of the price or what I said they weren’t going to buy….why… because, it wasn’t a priority So don’t be surprised federal government many people don’t give a darn, and those are the millions that you were supposedly concerned about.  Sounds like the government needs a good sales force instead investing my commission dollars into red tutus and navigators with criminal backgrounds. People need education and they need convenience both items the sales person provided.  Sales people create pain by opening prospects eyes to reality and risk. They then logically explain or educate how the policy will protect them and cure the pain. The more pain the more the policy becomes and priority and price becomes less the issue.

Navigators with criminal records? So this is what insurance agents have been replaced with? Seriously?  Health and life insurance agents across the country had to pass background checks, taking schooling and passing a rigid exam to sell health insurance.  Not only that, annually most had to complete continuing education in order to continue to represent health insurance companies.   Many of those insurance companies provided additional training of their own.  A  good sales person would also hone their craft, practice pitches and of course listen to hundreds of “no’s”.  Oh but of course the government can do it better, salesman are not needed.  Let’s take the example of the online exchange.  One of the big thorns in my side over my years of health sales was a website call EHealth.  A family could go online run several quotes get advice and apply.  I hated to admit it was very slick. And could be hard for me to overcome. Well of course we all know that government can do it better.   I am sure EHealth spent millions of dollars and years developing their website.  The federal government of course over about 2 year’s development thought they could do it better.  I guess we all know how that turned out.