For benefits brokers looking at their block of 51-99 business, this year is shaping up like a bad sequel.
Less than 2 years removed from the “Great Quote Tsunami of 2013,” brokers are gearing up for what could be an even bigger, crazier off-cycle shopping season in 2015. You can call this one “Quote Tsunami 2: Judgement Day,” since it’s likely to leave some brokers scrambling to find a better business process.
Why the off-cycle activity this year? The same market pressures that caused groups with 2-50 employees to take early (off-cycle) renewals in 2013 will be present again this year for groups of 51-99 employees. Looming on the horizon, January 1st, 2016, is the prospect of community rating for groups of this size, and many groups—if given the opportunity—will seek to delay the effects of this as long as they can.
Two years ago, that meant that carriers aggressively sought to lock groups into 12 and 24 month contracts just before the end of the year. They were of course blessed in these efforts by a certain last-minute “if you like your plan, you can keep it” speech that is ever so likely to repeated again. Sequels are very predictable.
It was challenging enough two years ago when employer groups with less than 50 employees engaged in off-cycle shopping at the end of 2013. The prospect of larger groups going through the same off-cycle activity later this year has some agents cringing. There is simply no avoiding the fact that for groups of 51-99 this year brokers will be asked to go the extra mile. The time to start preparing for this is right now and FormFire is still the best place to start.
For more than 10 years, FormFire has provided a range of community rating and underwriting tools to help brokers efficiently gather quotes and sell medical and ancillary products to their group applicants. We’ve watched the industry change rapidly over the past five years, and we’ve helped our broker-partners navigate all of the curves.
Our quoting portal not only takes the paper out of the process, but it also takes the time out of the process. An account manager could spend an hour getting one quote together for a group – with FormFire getting that same quote could take a third of the time. Plus, our system provides an employer-ready presentation format to avoid cutting and pasting carrier proposal PDFs.
A recent update to the system that added the ability to quote dental and vision plans in addition to medical has continued to ease the quoting process. With new plans being loaded into the system on a regular basis and existing plan rates being updated as they release you can be certain you are getting accurate quotes and are finding your groups the best rates.
Quote is currently available in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Georgia with launches coming in the coming weeks for both Michigan and Virginia. The ability to use Quote is available to all FormFire broker users at no additional cost – the quotes produced by FormFire are not legally binding. Our quoting portal, which is already equipped to handle community rated 2 to 50 groups in several states is going to continue to grow as it expands to the 51 to 99 market.
For more information about FormFire and Quote go to http://marketing.formfire.com/quote. To schedule a webinar contact Sales at email@example.com or call 216-502-2324.