SWOT – Sweet, Wonderful Opportunities Today

By Karen Kirkpatrick, On Your Mark Consulting

Tending to be a realistic optimist, I see our 2020 cup as overflowing with opportunities. Whether just starting in this business or having a rebirth or simply redefining success–you can accomplish what you set out to do.
2020 will find more insurance sales professionals turning toward consulting and fees (where permitted). Take a look at your beliefs and agency values, then practice beginning again with a new perspective. Ask yourself: What would my agency look like today with all the new healthcare options? What would success look like today with a new mindset? How would I structure my agency and incentivize staff? Brainstorm what would make sense to implement of all of those (previous) pie-in-the-sky beliefs and watch your world change overnight.
Personally, I am still working with agents, as I have for nearly 25 years, but in a very different way. Ofttimes, I’m a professional muse–pushing them behind the scenes to get out of their own way, make a good and healthy living and to be the light to consumers.

Commissions, networks, golf clubs and resorts used to be common speak. (I grew up with insurance industry parents.) Now, the talk is bundled pricing, direct primary care (DPC), deconstructing traditional plans, RX supply channels, surgery centers, consulting fees, stewardship reports and more. If our options to access care and our terminology is changing, don’t you think our mindset should too?

We can continue to expect healthcare delivery changes, transparency and pricing legislation to continue. All these changes may delay or nullify the need for single payer. Making healthcare more affordable, more cost transparent and with better results for millions of consumers will change the way we provide and receive healthcare for generations to come. It took at least two generations to get to where we are today. Once the consumer’s eyes are opened to the overpriced, low quality options they’ve been offered, turning back the clock to the status quo (or government-run) won’t be easy and they won’t go down without a fight. Don’t worry though, the new generation of advisors (age neutral) have broken out of the status quo and paved the way for you.

Educate as many consumers as you can. Educate yourself to enlightenment. This country needs a healthcare True North, doesn’t it? You can help guide it. And, if you need a muse…

Karen Kirkpatrick, organizer of the Thought Leadership dinner at NAHU’s annual convention, is the owner of On Your Mark Consulting.