Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stress-relieving Agent Tricks

Long-time readers may recall the sticker I've mentioned over the years, adhered to my phone, reminding me about how to conduct myself. Yesterday, I was privileged to experience a wonderful payoff.

Many agents have opted to take a pass on the rigorous and (unnecessarily) difficult process of becoming certified to sell Exchange-based health insurance, and as a result, I've been getting more referrals than ever (my doc told me I wasn't getting enough stress, recommended selling more health insurance). Yesterday afternoon, I received a call from a young lady whose agent (a friend and colleague) had recommended that she contact me for help. Seems her current (non-grandfathered) plan was getting too expensive, and she 's pretty sure she qualifies for a subsidy.

So she went online to do some shopping, and inadvertently ended up at what I'll call a "lead-farm." This kind of site looks like the one, but instead of enrolling in a plan, one is basically giving out contact info to hundreds of agents who pay the site's proprietors for access to it.

As a result, she's already received hundred of calls and emails, and become so confused and upset that she can't sleep.

Can't have that.

I began by asking her some questions, and confirmed that she had not, in fact, actually been to the official gummint site. I further determined that her existing plan is with a reputable carrier, and is still affordable (at least for the nonce). She also mentioned that she was due to go out of town in the next few days, meaning that the looming December 15th cut-off for a January effective date was adding to her stress.

So I asked her a question: "What's the absolute worst thing if you simply went for a February 1 start date, instead?"

Silence. And then a sigh of relief.

"I can do that?" she asked.

Yup: and then I told her that the only real downside was paying an extra month of the new, higher premium on her old plan, and missing out on a month's subsidy for the new. She agreed that her sanity and peace of mind was worth far more than the few hundred dollars at stake here. and then she thanked me profusely, telling me that she could already feel the stress draining away, and actually looking forward to her road trip. We agreed to re-connect when she gets back next week.

Sometimes we forget, in the press of analyzing and commenting on the ObamaTax train-wreck, that these are real people, whose real lives are impacted, and it's such a great feeling to be able to help at least one person gain some relief from the attendant anxiety.

I, for one, am grateful for the opportunity to have done so.
blog comments powered by Disqus