We like to focus on the things we should be thankful for. You might have guessed, this is a feel-good article. Our hope is that if you’re feeling a bit down, it’ll help you realize how fortunate we all are to work in the insurance industry. We certainly feel fortunate and believe that the future is bright for health insurance agents. Instead of focusing on the negative, we thought we’d focus on the things we should be thankful for. Here’s why:
1. We’re in the middle of a presidential campaign
New election years often create uncertainty. While many would see that as a negative, we don’t. The presidential candidates are talking about health care, and that helps to create awareness of the need for coverage. More importantly the candidates are pointing out current problems and discussing plans to fix them, so people naturally want to know how they’ll be impacted. Agents can help provide that guidance. By staying tuned in to what the candidates are proposing, in this time of change and confusion, the value of the agent only increases.
2. While the individual market is chaos;
You’re not responsible for the skyrocketing premiums, rising out-of-pocket costs, or shrinking provider networks. However, you can help your clients find solutions to those problems. The fact that there are so many people who need your services only creates more opportunity for agents.
3. Your jobs are flexible
Most independent agents have control over when and where they work. Sure, there’s a busy time of year, but that also means there’s a slow time of year. If you want to take every July off, you can make the choice to do that. And if you want to make calls or answer emails while sitting on a sun-drenched beach, you can do that as well. In fact, some of your competitors are taking time every year to enjoy the fruits of their labor—so why not you?
There’s something very powerful about working for yourself. Yes, there’s a lot of responsibility and a certain amount of uncertainty, and we know that can be stressful. At the same time, your business is what you make it. If you decide to build in some “me time,” there are plenty of ways to leave that stress behind.
4. You can give yourself a raise any time
This may be one of the most attractive things about the insurance industry. Agents are paid on commission, which means that you have the opportunity to grow your income each year as you add new clients and offer more products to existing clients
Think about it. There are a bunch of people who look to you to inform them on what insurance products they may need to protect their families and their finances. They trust you and they depend on you. When you find a new solution, something that will help reduce their risk of financial loss or increase their access to medical care, you have a responsibility to let them know. And best of all, if you’re doing your job right, you’ll be rewarded financially.
5. You really are making a difference
It’s easy to lose faith. We know that. But when you’re having a bad day because your clients are blaming you for the cost of their health insurance, or you spent half the day on hold with an insurance carrier or at Healthcare.gov, or the employees of the groups your trying to service won’t even make eye contact with you during the annual enrollment meeting, it’s helpful to remind yourself that what you do really does matter.
The products you sell and the customer service you provide has a direct impact on people’s health and their finances. What you do makes a difference in the quality of life of your clients. You don’t always get to hear the success stories, but there’s no denying that your job is important. People without health insurance are often left with unmanageable medical bills that cause undue worry and stress on families. In fact, a 2009 Harvard study linked 45,000 deaths annually to a lack of health coverage.
Yes, what you do matters. Without sounding too dramatic, for many people it is a matter of life and death. That should make you proud.
Feeling any better about your job?
We hope so. The truth is that while the insurance industry has its share of problems, so do most industries. How you react to those problems is up to you. If you focus on the negative, you’ll probably dread going to work every day. If you choose to focus on all the great things about your job—and there are a lot of them—you’re likely to sell a lot more and have a lot more fun in the process.
If you ever need to vent or if you just need a little pep talk, please give us a call. Again, we’re pretty excited about the future, and we’ll do our best to make sure you, too, see the opportunities. More importantly, as you search for new solutions, AHCP can definitely help with the products and the training we provide. We are here to help you capitalize on opportunities. We look forward to working with you.