ACA – OEP Checklist with Mike Smith

Episode Summary

This podcast episode focuses on providing insurance agents with strategies and advice for preparing for the upcoming 2021 Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period.

The host Gillan interviews Mike Smith, president of The Brokerage Insurance agency, who shares insights into trends for the 2021 open enrollment based on his many years of experience in the ACA insurance market.

Some key highlights from their discussion include:

- Open enrollment will take place from November 1st to December 15th this year. Mike believes it will be their best enrollment period yet, with the ACA market stabilizing after years of volatility.

- The Brokerage has added several new insurance carrier options for 2021, including Friday Health, Christus Health, and Sidecar Health. Mike says bigger carriers like UnitedHealthcare have also been rumored to be interested in re-entering the ACA marketplace after leaving in prior years.

- For agents new to ACA, Mike explains the certification process is quick and easy. Just complete the 1 hour CMS training and get appointed with carriers. Technology like Health Sherpa makes quoting and enrolling simple for agents as well.

- Prospecting leads can be as simple as asking clients if they are happy with their current health plan costs. Many people are eager to save on premiums, especially after pandemic job losses. Agents can also cross-sell ACA plans to Medicare households with younger dependents needing coverage.

- Subsidies are a huge advantage of ACA plans that agents should highlight. Lower-income clients can qualify for substantial premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, making coverage much more affordable.

- Short-term limited duration health plans are another option agents can offer clients wanting cheaper alternatives to ACA. These have lower premiums but less robust benefits.

- For agents not wanting to get certified to sell ACA plans themselves, The Brokerage has a referral program to connect prospects with other brokers and provide a referral fee.

Mike emphasizes that selling ACA plans represents a significant business growth opportunity for agents who take the time to get prepare for open enrollment. With more carrier options, stabilized premiums, and available subsidies, agents should be able to find competitive plan options meeting their client's needs and budgets this year.


(0:00:04) - Broker Link podcast features Mike Smith talking about ACA open enrollment
(0:00:28) -  Gillan: This is the 8th open enrollment period for the ACA
(0:01:41) - The portfolio continues to grow, and not just those carriers that you mentioned
(0:04:29) - November 1 through December 15 is the open enrollment period for Obamacare
(0:08:40) - People are looking for ways to make health insurance more affordable
(0:15:31) - The first thing you want to do with ACA is research your market
(0:17:26) - Broker Link will host a virtual conference tomorrow to discuss growing your business

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