Your clients have selected their coverage, you’ve completed applications, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is now over. Congratulations!
When you’re ready to continue your marketplace journey, below are a few things to think about that you can use to expand your under-65 insurance business outside of the OEP.
Listen to this article:
After the OEP has closed, your clients may still be able to sign up for an individual health plan or switch plans. Changes in household, residence, or loss of qualifying health coverage can trigger eligibility for a Special Enrollment Plan (SEP), or a set time they can make changes to their coverage. People who lose their Medicaid coverage also qualify for an SEP and may look to the marketplace to find an affordable health care option. These significant changes may create opportunities for individuals to find the right option for them and their situation.
In September 2021, a new monthly SEP was introduced to the federal marketplace for consumers with an income at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) who also qualify for a subsidy. There are also a few state exchanges that have introduced this SEP. Some states have modified eligibility requirements.
- Pennsylvania and New Jersey are participating with an SEP available for those who earn up to 200 percent of the FPL.
- For states that have expanded Medicaid coverage, this SEP is available to households with an annual income between 138 and 150 percent of the FPL.
- In states that have not expanded Medicaid, this monthly SEP is available to households with an annual income above 100 percent and below 150 percent of the FPL, effective April 1, 2022.
Your clients have the potential to be eligible for ACA coverage for the first time or receive savings on their health care costs with these opportunities. Speak to your clients and ensure that their most recent information is on file.
Offering Ancillary Coverage
While individual health plans cover 10 essential health benefits, benefits such as vision and dental care are generally not provided for adults. Some plans offer optional dental and vision coverage at an additional cost, but others do not. It’s important to see if your client is missing, and desires, this extra coverage.
There are dental plans offered on the exchange. To enroll in these plans, clients must apply during the OEP or an SEP, if they qualify. Outside of the exchange, there are multiple companies that offer competitively priced dental, vision, and hearing policies that you can offer to clients throughout the whole year.
Outside of the exchange, there are multiple companies that offer competitively priced dental, vision, and hearing policies that you can offer to clients throughout the whole year.
To provide even more coverage to clients, consider suggesting a hospital indemnity plan. Clients who are enrolled in a bronze plan have the lowest premium, but the plan will only pay about 60 percent of costs, leaving the client responsible for the remaining 40 percent. Pairing a Bronze plan with a hospital indemnity policy can be an affordable way for clients to reduce their potential out-of-pocket costs. Hospital indemnity plans may also be sold all year round. Consider generating business after the OEP by looking into additional ancillary products.
Setting New Goals
As the busy season concludes, we recommend taking the time to reflect on your achievements. Consider specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (or SMART goals for short) goals that can help you throughout the year. If you meet your goals throughout the enrollment period, consider setting a new goal that will be a challenge. You never know what’s possible if you don’t strive to achieve it.
And remember, Ritter Insurance Marketing is always here to help you with the resources you need and the advice you may want to have your best year yet.
Start your year with fresh goals! Keep track of your goals and important dates with The Busy ACA Agents’ Sales Calendar!
Generating Brand Awareness
Generating awareness of your brand is crucial to the success of your small business. We suggest creating well-crafted social media pages to reach potential clients. Social media and online advertisement are an excellent way to promote your business. Facebook allows small business owners to create a Facebook Business Page for free. We suggest chiming in on community Facebook groups to advertise your services. Apps such as Nextdoor are also a great way to get in touch with individuals in your community with no additional cost to you.
We suggest creating well-crafted social media pages to reach potential clients.
If you’re still trying to create or refine your social media strategy, consider downloading our social media eBook! We suggest strategies and other ways to advertise your small business.
Being a small business owner is more than just conquering the enrollment period. To see all-year success, consider professional development resources outside of the busy season. Take a Knight School training, join a local professionals group, or catch up on some great reading for insurance professionals.
Your business is a constantly evolving practice. Staying innovative is a great way to generate growth all year round.
Building Your Pipeline
Consider looking to other lines of business to generate sales. Bring in referrals by looking to your current client base and suggesting your services. If you sell Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans, and/or Medicare Supplements, we have a letter template that you can use with clients to generate ACA referrals. This strategy also works well for other lines of business!
We also suggest practicing community engagement. By getting to know the needs of your community, you will be able to anticipate where your services may be needed most. Participate in community events and speak to individuals attending the event; suggest your services when appropriate.
When it’s time, your ACA clients may age out of their marketplace plan. If your client was able to trust their health insurance needs with you for years, when it becomes time for them to sign up for a Medicare plan, you can help them find the right plan by guiding them from the marketplace to Medicare.
Congratulations on your success during the OEP. We are looking forward to the rest of the year! Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of unique sales scenarios such as the ones we’ve listed above. If you’re anxious about stepping into a new line of business, reach out to one of our dedicated sales reps who can help you answer the tricky questions.
At Ritter Insurance Marketing, we’re committed to providing you with the tools you need to succeed. We have a diverse library of contracts, as well as a proprietary CRM tool that will make selling marketplace plans after the OEP easier than before. Register with Ritter today to have access!
Editor’s Note: This was originally published in January 2023. It has been updated to include information more relevant to 2024.