Well, after waiting three days to get on the website, just got kicked out again. Do you think your clients and potential clients are finding it any different? How long before they get so frustrated that they quit looking. This is where you become their hero. It will take some time before all the bugs get worked out of the system and in the meantime, you can build your reputation and business by being available to your prospects and clients. They have questions, you need to provide answers. Remember, nothing has to be done till mid December so those that are going on line now, are just looking for answers, not necessarily looking to purchase. After they get kicked out of the system a few times, they will stop trying. We are a society that is easily distracted and if things don’t work exactly how we want them to, we quit. So what should you do? Well, in my opinion, contact every client and or prospect and tell them that you will be available to assist them in signing up for health insurance. In addition, you realize that they may have found the process frustrating and that is why you are willing to assist, and reminding them that there is no cost for your services to them. I would also mention that if they actually purchase directly from the non-working website, they will most likely have the same problems if and when they actually use the insurance. By having a professional agent assist them in purchasing the coverage, they are also assuring themselves an advocate at claim time or when other problems develop.

You may have noticed that OCI has not been over the top in getting people signed up right away. We decided to let all the problems get resolved before frustrating our brokers and or their clients. For instance, you haven’t seen the mobile marketplaces out and about yet as they would have nothing to offer till some of the mess gets cleaned up. Once we feel that we can truly offer services to our partners, they will be available. It doesn’t do anyone any good to create more confusion. In the meantime, I continue to have the Healthcare.gov website up and constantly try to sign in and create an account. So far, it just continues to tell me how many visitors are on the site and to be patient. We thought standing at the post office was a pain, three days of waiting just to set up my account. Heaven forbid when you actually need healthcare. I just hope that when I finally get to the front of the line, they don’t put a sign in the window that says it’s time for their coffee break.

Last point, Are you a member of NAIFA or NAHU? If not, why not? I will be asking for you to join one of the organizations over the next couple of months if you truly want to be an OCI partner. It is time to either step to the plate, become a professional, join one of our industry organizations, or consider yourself a non-professional. OCI only wants to work with those who consider themselves professional.