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    Welcome to the 2Q10 online edition of Shortcuts!

     

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    In this issue:

    3rd Annual Agent Internet Survey Results 

    District Sales Manager Tip of the Quarter 

    Don't Let Your Clients Wait for Coverage  

     


     

    Agents Help Celtic Build the Value of www.celtic-net.com
    3rd Annual Agent Internet Survey Results

    Celtic’s website has become essential to our agents’ individual health sales success. The Internet continues to change the way agents do business. It’s our goal to stay ahead of the curve and offer you the tools you need to boost your efficiency and grow your business in the changing marketplace.

    Our Annual Agent Internet Survey provides invaluable insights we depend on to plan website and agent service updates. Preparing to introduce website enhancements later this year, we redesigned the 2009 survey to get agent opinions on a wider variety of topics that we’ll use to develop new content, improve our navigation and usability, and update our look and feel.

    Highlights of Survey Results


    Website’s Look and Feel
    Over 80% of agents are pleased with our website’s overall appearance. Most agents agree that our website has an attractive color scheme, typography and graphics, and they find information easy to read. There is always room for improvement, however, so we’ll take specific agent suggestions and best practices into account as we consider new page layouts.


    Website’s Ease of Navigation
    The majority of survey respondents said they find www.celtic-net.com easy to navigate. They can get to information quickly, they find it easy to remember where to find things and the menus make sense. Close to one-fifth of agents, however, rated various navigation attributes with a “3” (neutral), suggesting room for improvement. It’s critical that website visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for, so our enhancement efforts will focus on this important piece of web design.


    Website’s Functionality
    “What can agents do on our website?” This is an important question and we depend on agents to tell us what they need. Agents rated Celtic’s website most favorably for ability to run quotes and providing materials to download. The data suggests agents would like to see more education/learning resources content.


    We asked agents how they typically use Celtic’s website. It’s no surprise that running quotes, looking up Celtic health plan information, logging into the Agent Portal, downloading sales materials, and accessing the PPO directories are agents’ most frequent activities – they are the fundamental pieces of writing a case. We will focus on enhancing these areas of the site because they make the biggest impact on your business.

    We found that when it comes to submitting business, it’s clear that Celtic agents are using their Agent Portal and WebLink. Half of the agents surveyed send a quote proposal e-mail to their client to review their recommendation and complete the online application. Other agents commonly start an application and then e-mail it to their client for completion, while others start an application online and then print it out for their client’s wet signature and manual submission. The remaining agents e-mail their WebLink URL to their clients or have their clients click on their URL from a link on their website to quote, choose a plan and
    apply online.

    Serving your clients is important, too, and agents indicated they refer clients to Celtic-net.com primarily for product information and customer service, and to a lesser degree the Consumer Learning Center and HSA Resource Center.

    Social Media and Interactive Content
    The 2009 survey explored how agents are engaging with online communities. This information will be used to develop Celtic’s social media strategy as well as interactive content. An overview of our findings:

    • Respondents participate in Facebook (87%), LinkedIn (45%), and Twitter (12%)
    • Less than 4% participate in agent/business blogs, but 34% said they’d be interested in participating in a Celtic agent blog focused on selling individual health insurance
    • Over 65% of respondents view on-demand, industry-related presentations. Agents interested in accessing more on-demand presentations on Celtic’s website suggested the following topics: Sales tips/ prospecting/ lead generation, how to use website features, product training, underwriting, why Celtic is best, and industry information and trends
    • Agents who would like access to on-demand presentations to share with clients suggested topics including HSAs, product overviews, how insurance works, why Celtic is best, general info on Celtic
    • Almost 65% of agents attend industry-related live webinars, and those who expressed interest in attending live online Celtic webinars suggested we cover topics including plan design, new info to help sell, client retention, and general industry information

     

    Thank you to all of the agents who took time to complete our Agent Internet Survey. Your feedback is always welcome, and we invite you to call your District Sales Manager at (800) 477-7990 or send an e-mail to SellingCeltic@celtic-net.comwith any questions or comments.


    *All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

     


     

    District Sales Manager Tip of the Quarter

     

    Make the Most of Your Celtic WebLink!
    “Over 80% of our business is submitted online,” says Amos H. “Make the most of your Celtic Agent WebLink. It can be e-mailed to clients, put up on your website, or accessed right from your web browser for instant plan quotes, comparisons, and online applications. Most consumers actually prefer applying for coverage online over face-to-face, paper transactions because it’s quicker. When you can offer this service, you have a better chance of making the sale.”


     

    Don't Let Your Clients Wait for Coverage
    by Colleen F., Vice President of Sales, Marketing and eBusiness

    Last July we surveyed agents to see what impact the issue of health care reform was having on discussions with your clients and on your business. You responded that you’ve been challenged by the fact that it’s making consumers take a wait and see attitude about purchasing health insurance.

    Nearly a year later, after the passage of health care legislation, a staggering number of Americans are still taking a wait and see approach with buying health insurance, and many are sorely misguided. I’d like to share some research I’ve come across recently and offer some encouragement to you as you sell individual health in this time of change and uncertainty.

    A survey sponsored by eHealth, Inc. measuring consumer expectations following the passage of legislation found that 39% of the uninsured respondents would wait for health reform legislation to be fully implemented before researching and buying health insurance, and 44% believe there is “no risk” in going without health insurance coverage until government programs become available.

    Indeed, many of your potential customers are delaying the important task of buying health insurance. But when a consumer remains uninsured – and an agent doesn’t sell – no one wins. And with the timeline for implementation of the various health reform provisions spanning through 2014, and some reforms scheduled for 2015 and beyond, many uninsureds are putting themselves at great risk.

    Thirty-one percent of adults surveyed in the eHealth study believe all the major health reform programs will be available to the public before the end of 2012. In fact, a substantial number of the uninsured respondents expect the following reforms to be fully implemented in 2010:

    • 62% expect to have access to private insurance regardless of any pre-existing medical conditions
    • 56% believe the government health insurance exchanges will be up and running
    • 56% expect to receive subsidies to help cover the cost of health insurance

    These provisions, however, are not slated to be effective until 2014. Additionally, the number of uninsureds in our country, along with the factors contributing to the rise in uninsureds, is not going to change significantly until the reforms are put into effect. Consider these facts:

    • there are 46 million uninsureds in the United States
      - 11 million (1/4 of the non elderly population) are middle class individuals who do not qualify for assistance through government programs
    • many people don’t have coverage through their work
      - only 60% of employers offered health benefits in 2009
    • many unemployed people have exhausted their COBRA coverage and subsidy

    There remains a need for individual health insurance and agents to sell it. People need coverage to protect their physical health and financial stability, and waiting until health care reform is completed is not the answer. You, along with companies like Celtic who are committed to the individual health marketplace, can make a difference in the lives of so many Americans.

     

    Our July 2009 poll also told us that agents have refined their marketing efforts to target those who have recently graduated and the self-employed. I encourage you to boost these efforts and help your clients and prospective clients understand that while health reform in imminent, there’s a need in the here and now for coverage. Now is a time when you can help your clients understand their options and rest assured that they have the coverage they need.



    Sources: eHealth, Inc.’s Health Reform Survey, www.news.ehealth.com; Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research Educational Trust’s Employer Health Benefits 2009 Annual Survey, www.kff.org; Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Care and the Middle Class: More Costs and Less Coverage, July 2009, www.kff.org 

    Individual health insurance