So far I’ve received only one comment on an earlier post, “Agents Need to Deliver Value — And Let People Know About It.” The author of the comment, Dr. Zagreus Ammon doesn’t have much nice to say about agents and brokers. “Based on my experience, most agents add very little value and are generally a waste of time, effort and oxygen”, he writes. “Being so behind the scenes, they suck a significant amount of money out of the health care system returning little.” Dr. Ammon, who has practiced in Canada, now works in Maryland and maintains his own blog (The Physician Executive), has given health care a great deal of thought. He’s come to the conclusion a private health care system is preferable to one run by the government. This leads him to begrudgingly conclude that agents are “a necessary evil.”
Needless to say, this isn’t the reputation agents want to be building. Nor, I believe, is it accurate. True, some agents fail to deliver anything worthwhile to their clients. The majority, however, deliver a great deal. Yet here is Dr. Ammon claiming we’re parasites. This opinion is, no doubt, based on his experience. By the nature of such things, his experience with agents is limited, but it’s the only data he has — for now.
I was going to respond to Dr. Ammon, but on reflection I think it would be more interesting to hear from agents and others who read this blog. My guess (and hope) is that it will be a lot. I’m expecting agents will provide examples of how they saved their clients money, how their intervention helped clients get paid on previously denied claims and how they guide clients to the right health plan. In short, I’m expecting agents to explain how we add value to the health care system.
The health care debate is driven in large part by anecdotes. Many of these involve insureds whose claims were denied and had to stand-up to the insurance companies on their own. Agents frequently point out to me that these consumers apparently had not insurance agent. If they had, these agents maintain, the results might have been different. So now’s your chance to provide your own anecdotes — or ask your clients to post something for you. (Just click on the blue comment link at the bottom of this post)
As an agent, you’ve walked the walk. Here’s a chance to talk about it.