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What Agents Do Matters – Part 2

In part 1 of this series, the author explained how some fortunate timing helped his uncle fight cancer without high premiums or big out of pocket expenses. In part 2 of the story, he explains how his uncle dealt with the time off of work.

What Agents Do Matters - Part 1

This post is being submitted on behalf of a friend of America’s Health Care Plans. He knows we work with thousands of agents who collectively sell insurance to hundreds of thousands of households. He hopes his family’s story will inspire some of you to sell even more because the advice and guidance you provide really does matter.

What to tell your clients about telehealth

To help combat the rising costs of health care we’re seeing a lot of new consumer tools emerge and growing in popularity. Services and tools such as telemedicine, healthcare pricing tools, and prescription discount cards. Some are offered on a stand-alone basis; others are incorporated into the health plans you’re already selling. Because these services are growing in popularity, we thought it was time for a quick update. In this post, we’ll get you up to speed on telehealth.

New Bill Would Expand Health Savings Accounts

The American Health Care Act had only a 17% approval rating before being pulled without a vote on Friday, March 24. The legislation would have made a number of positive changes for Health Savings Accounts, but the good news for HSA fans is that Republican lawmakers have another shot at expanding these popular tax-advantaged accounts.

The Individual Mandate’s Tax Filing Requirements

As we approach the end of tax season, there’s a lot of confusion about the tax filing requirements under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, largely because Americans have received mixed messages about what the rules actually are.

The American Health Care Act – What Now??

On Friday, March 24, President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan made the decision to pull the American Health Care Act—the reconciliation bill that was designed to repeal sections of the Affordable Care Act—after it became obvious they didn’t have the votes to send the proposed legislation to the United States Senate. The House Freedom Caucus, a group of about three dozen highly conservative Republican lawmakers, is being blamed for the bill’s failure as the majority of its members refused to support the legislation. Their argument was that they had promised their constituents they would repeal and replace Obamacare but the Ryan plan stopped short of accomplishing that goal; instead, they referred to the bill as “Obamacare-lite” since many of the law’s provisions would remain.

What advice would you give a new insurance agent?

This is a question you may not have given any thought to. Insurance professionals tend to operate in a vacuum—sure, you see and talk with clients and prospects every day of the week, but unless you’re involved with an agent association, you may not interact with your colleagues or competitors very often, or encounter someone new to the industry. So why are we asking you how you would advise an agent who’s just getting their feet wet? That’ll become clear in a moment, but like many of us, you’re probably scratching your head trying to figure out what you would say to a new agent who asks for your advice. Maybe you’re thinking that you would tell them to RUN; after all, with all the turmoil in the industry, it may not be the ideal time to be entering the health insurance sales force. Or maybe your advice would be to take a path different from the one you chose.

Reminder: You Can Sell Supplements All Year Long

A lot of the agents we work with at AHCP sell both individual and Medicare products. While they may have originally focused their attention on one of these two market segments, they realized somewhere along the way that there’s a lot of overlap in the way the products are sold. Agents who are successful selling individual health plans, for instance, catch on pretty quickly when they make the decision to sell Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and vice versa.

Humana Pulls Out of Insurance Marketplace

Humana’s been making a lot of news lately. On January 23, a federal judge blocked the proposed $37 billion merger between Humana and Aetna. On February 14, the companies announced that they wouldn’t appeal the ruling and that that they were walking away from the deal they’d been working on for the last year-and-a-half. Then, later that same day, Humana made news once again when it announced that it would not be participating in the Obamacare exchanges in 2018. While the company will presumably continue to offer plans outside the Marketplace, it won’t be selling individual health plans eligible for a government subsidy through the federal or state exchanges.

Big Insurers Call Off Mergers

In July of 2015, just weeks apart, four of the top five insurance companies in the nation announced that they would be merging with one of their big competitors: Aetna made an offer to acquire Humana for $37 billion and, in an even bigger deal, Anthem offered to purchase rival Cigna for $48 billion. Now, just a year-and-a-half later, following two adverse court decisions, both of those deals are dead.

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