TO ALL WHO WORK IN THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY
The 2020 elections are officially underway and health insurance is still one of the primary topics of the campaigns. I was in a reflective mood recently, thinking back over all the changes I’ve witnessed in this industry during my career. Many of you will remember, some of you may have to do some research to find out more. Take a walk with me down this memory lane and if I leave out some changes you remember, please tell us what your thoughts and memories are by contributing to this new blog.
I remember when:
- I used to go to the doctor when I had a sore throat (could be strep) and I paid $10 for the doctor visit. That wasn’t a co-pay – that was what it actually cost to see the doctor, get a shot (or 2), a hand-written prescription for additional medications and an offer to come back if I didn’t get better. Oh – and we actually saw the physician, not a PA or an NP. I’m not bashing PA’s and NP’s – grateful that we have them since we rarely get to see the physician anymore.
- Insurance Agents primarily sold Hospital and Surgical policies and that was generally all that people needed.
- The insurance carriers introduced the general public to “networks.”
- The government introduced us to the beginnings of HIPAA and the general public had to be taught that they couldn’t be without health insurance coverage for more than 63 days.
- Policies were underwritten based on medical history, age, demographics, etc., including group insurance.
- People could sign up for health insurance any time of the year.
- Some people were uninsurable with no real option to get insurance.
- We had more than two or three insurance carriers to offer our clients.
- Commissions were higher and we were paid a fair commission for our training, dedication, and knowledge.
Some of the changes we’ve seen have been good and some have not. But the one constant through all these changes has been the Agents and Account Managers, GA’s and Carrier Reps, etc. Those of us who sell and service clients in this ever-changing industry are the ones who have to educate and train the general public. We are the bearers of good news and bad. We witness the joy and the despair of whatever changes are taking place in our world that affects their world. That started me thinking about the characteristics of all of us in our various roles. What comes to your mind when you think backwards and look forward to whatever we will face in the coming years? We are: resilient, adaptable, dedicated, tired, trainable, caring, versatile. What else comes to your mind? We hope you will share your thoughts on all things concerning our industry on this blog. This is your outlet for whatever you are thinking, facing, celebrating . . .
Judith Robinson – ETAHU Member