I blog as a hobby. And as someone interested in fixing this out of control nation we live in. But in addition to being a blogger – which does not pay the bills – I also own an Independent Insurance Agency and work full time as an IT Manager. (And yes, I am a singer/songwriter in my spare time.)
Suffice it to say I manage to keep myself busy.
One way I manage to juggle all these things is by getting up early. The 5 AM kind of early.
And right after I grab my first cup of coffee, I head to my home office and start doing my daily tasks as the President and owner of an Insurance Agency. I look at and analyze the receipts from the previous day, compile numerous reports and put together a Daily Dashboard each day reflecting the previous day’s numbers and the tasks that must be done today.
And when I hear the Obamacare “numbers” telling us how many people “signed up” for Obamacare, I am left scratching my head. On all of the reports I do, there is no reference to “signed up” numbers. And I have absolutely no idea what that phrase means in terms of insurance. And the Obama Administration will not define what it means to “sign up” and the Republicans have not bothered to ask. Though they do ask how many actually “paid”. Which has not been answered either.
So as close as I can put the reference to “signed up” into insurance terms would be the word Quote.
All of us are familiar with that term. We call up an agent or go online and put in our information and they tell us how much we will pay if we decide to get a policy.
Now most people understand that when I give them a quote, there is another step involved, which is to actually bind the coverage. And before you go all blurry eyed on me using a word like “bind” all you need to know is that it means you decided to pay for the policy and accept the coverage.
I am pretty sure that the numbers released by Obama are only the quotes. You need to do quotes to sell insurance, and counting quotes given is a statistic we insurance professionals look at, but we don’t make a dime on quotes. We only get paid when a policy binds. And the term bind is a legal term. It is part of contract law. A contract binds when two people exchange something of value. I offer you insurance coverage and you pay for it. Two things of value. One saying you hear a lot in the insurance world is “money binds“. There is no agreement until payment is received.
So the number we need from Obama is not how many quotes you did on the failing websites, but how many policies did you bind? We all know that not every quote ends in a sold policy. An fact, only a small percentage actually do. 1 or 2 out of every 10. And if the price is really low, you will do better than that.
But the price for Obamacare is not what most people call affordable. Many get sticker shock. And even though the administration had the IRS issue threats recently to try to bump enrollment, all indications are that people are not buying.
But if all I had to worry about was collecting money when I sell a policy I would be in heaven. But the truth is, selling the policy is only the beginning.
I choose to have my commission paid up front when I sell a policy. So I get a percentage of every policy I sell in my monthly commission statement. Let’s say Isell a policy for $1,200 and I get 10% commission. My check for that month will include $120 for that sale.
But something we are not talking about is what happens when a policy cancels? If you bought an Obamacare Policy that started January 1, 2014 and then failed to make a payment for February, what happens? Well, the policy cancels. In Virginia and many states the insurance provider must give you 30 days notice before they can cancel your policy.
So what happens if you don’t pay in February? Well, 30 days later the policy goes away. And what that means for me is that in my commission statement for the next month will be pro-rated for the cancellation – and the insurance company will deduct $110 from my earnings next month.
So beginning this week, the people that got a quote for Obamacare, then bought a policy by paying the first month and failed to pay again will be cancelled.
Now will they have fulfilled their IRS requirement to avoid the
penalty tax? I would think not, but I don’t know for sure. I am not a tax professional, only an insurance professional.
And can they reinstate? And if they do so with a lapse, is the tax pro-rated? Completely voided? Do you pay the entire tax? Or just part of it?
And if I get another quote after my policy cancelled will I ba counted as signing up again? (This one I would say is a definite yes.)
I have no idea at all.
And what if there is a waiver? Will I have to pay up until the waiver? Is the waiver retroactive?
So what chance does the average American have if an insurance guy doesn’t know?
And even more importantly, why doesn’t and insurance guy know? Well, I can answer that in two ways. First, I don’t sell health insurance and don’t need to know. Second, the laws and exemptions change daily at the whim of Obama’s pen and phone. HE doesn’t even know. How could I?
So the questions we need to know are:
- How many policies were sold (bound) by payment?
- How many of those cancelled this month?
- How many are reinstated month to month as we go?
So every morning I look at policies sold and the commission on those, policies cancelled and the commission taken away for those, and also renewals (which are like new policies – I get commission for the next year), reinstatements and I even have to look at endorsements as commission is added or removed depending on people adding or removing coverage or in my case vehicles.
So how many did I sign up yesterday (as in Quotes)?
I have no idea because that number does not make me money or take money away.
Now why don’t we have anyone in Congress asking the Obama Administration to give us a report like the one I do every morning so we can keep track and control of what is going on with the “Affordaable” health care act?
We all know the answer. Obamacare is a failure on such a massive scale that the Administration would be in even more tatters than they already are if Americans knew the truth.
And at some point the smartest among the left are bound to realize that their policies domestically and internationally (can you say Ukraine?) are complete and utter failures like we told them they would be.
Even the hated Sarah Palin saw Putin coming.