To compete effectively in today’s health insurance marketplace, it’s important you be able to provide your prospects and clients with the services (and customer service) they want. That includes online quoting.
So, how do you evaluate the range of quoting tools available to brokers? What sets one apart from another? Let’s take a look at things you might consider when evaluating different quoting tools.
Single Carrier vs. Multi-Carrier including Online Enrollment
If you’re considering the addition of online quoting for your website, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you want to go with a quoting system offered through one of your carrier partners or a standalone multi-carrier platform with the option to offer online enrollment.
Choosing a system that supports quoting and enrolling for more than one carrier helps give you an edge over your competition.
It enables you to quote multiple carriers using a single system and it also offers your prospects and clients the ability to get a quote and enroll directly on your website. Your clients, referrals, and prospects can instantly shop online to find the coverage that’s right for their needs and budget.
Software vs. Cloud-based
Some systems are software-based, which means you have to go online periodically to update your quoting database or sign into the carrier’s system to get access to the latest rate information. Other systems are cloud-based and offer round-the-clock access online to the most accurate plan (and up-to-date) quote information.
When comparing services, be sure you know how accurate the information is likely to be – and whether there are limits to when it’s available to you or your customers.
ACA OEP and SEP Quoting
Find out if the system you’re considering offers online enrollment for both on- and off-exchange health plans. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) annual open enrollment period runs from November through January and is a critical period for brokers. Don’t make the mistake of signing up for a system that fails to deliver access to the Federally Facilitated Marketplace or state exchanges.
Don’t overlook tools to help your customers find out if they’re eligible for a subsidy under the ACA. Even with everything that’s going on in Washington, DC, it may be a while before changes to the ACA are made. After OEP ends, you may have existing clients or referrals who qualify for an ACA Special Enrollment Period. Be sure any system you’re considering gives you the resources to address those requests, too.
The ACA has changed the role of insurance professionals. It’s almost a full-time job to keep up with compliance changes. But your choice of the right quoting platform can help you stay compliant. Be sure you choose a quoting tool that’s ACA-compliant and offers safeguards to ensure the ongoing accuracy and compliance of the quotes it delivers.
Going Beyond Quoting: CRM Tools
Quoting is not enough. If you’re going to implement an online quoting and enrollment system, why not choose one that offers more return on your dollar? Select a system that will help you enhance your communication with prospects and clients alike.
The best online quoting systems offer Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. A powerful, automated follow-up system – sometimes called an AutoResponder – can help you warm up your cold prospects, improve relations with your current customers, and boost your retention efforts and referrals. It can help you develop a more personal connection – while also freeing up time for you to focus on sales.
Choosing your preferred health insurance quoting and enrollment tool will no doubt help your business. Just remember to choose the one that best fits your needs at the price point you feel comfortable paying.
Take your time to shop around and try free demos and/or trial offers to see what you like and don’t like. If you do your research, you will end up with the best health insurance quoting and enrollment tool for you and your business.