A broker who created a storefront for selling on the Texas health insurance exchange was shut down, so to speak, last week. Will Heavin of Corpus-Christi, Texas, says so far his plans to turn his office into a walk-in and call-in enrollment center averaged five to six inquires during last week’s launch — but the carriers in the area didn’t have their sites up for pricing and enrollment.

Heavin told EBA that this strategy for exchange sales is based on a large opportunity in his area, with almost 40,000 of the population subsidy-eligible. He is “happy” with the initial response from the community because he says his only advertising last week was putting up large and small signs in front of his office at a high-traffic intersection in town. Today he’s running an ad in the local paper.

“It had its glitches because we couldn’t follow through on people who wanted to enroll, but I feel good about it because there’s so much interest and now that we’re able to enroll, this week should be good,” Heavin says. The signs refer to his office as a Health Insurance Enrollment Center and include a phone number and have arrows pointing to the office.

Their business plan for funneling numerous exchange inquiries a day is to have an admin-level staff member work with a walk-in or call-in prospect on a simple form, created by Heavin, that only includes basic personal information: name, address, age, number of dependents and name of their local family doctor in town. He says this will allow his 11 producers at his company, including himself, to focus on their group clients and the enrollment of people on the exchanges. Once the initial form is filled out, the admin person makes an appointment for the prospect to come back with their dependent and income information to actually enroll. 

Heavin says the information about a local doctor is going to be key to ensuring that he saves people in his area money. He’ll cross-check their family doctor’s name with the Humana and two Blue Cross Blue Shield plans on the exchange to make sure he gives them an option that includes their physician, along with an option without that doctor if it is cheaper to go without. That way, the process is truly consultative.

“The goal is develop a sales process to assist people,” he says about his plan. Heavin is ambitious and hopes to increase inquiries this week as well.

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