Using Contract Enrollers in the Field
Aug 31, 2009
The trend of using contract enrollers continues to increase nationally. Contract enrollers are also referred to as Benefit Counselors these days…….either way they are being used more and more to communicate core and voluntary benefits at the worksite. Recent conditions have made this commonplace among carriers, brokers, consultants, and even employers. Why? Travel expenses and travel headaches have made multi-site and multi state cases ever more difficult and expensive to staff. Carriers are now turning more and more to national networks of enrollers who can provide valuable staffing for benefit fairs, formal presentations, and one-on-one meetings.
The quality of the enrollers has never been better with many retired career company reps finding a need for part-time work. Here they have years of experience and knowledge (and licenses and credentials) and are looking for the occasional event near where they live. These individuals can pick up extra money by being paid either on a per diem or commission basis. They also have the luxury of taking a case or not!
More and more carriers/brokers who use enrollers are leaning toward using local talent when staffing is needed. The benefits of using local talent are many. First, travel expenses are greatly reduced by using local enrollers. The expenses are usually only mileage (currently 55 cents/mile) and a food per diem. Also, higher sales results usually occur by using local talent who relate better to the employees…the enrollers talk like the employees thus making them more comfortable. Enrollers usually prefer doing Type I enrollments (one-on-ones) or Type II (fairs and formal presentations). Also, the list of bilingual enrollers has grown tremendously over the years and now firms are credentialing them and creating better worksite outcomes.
Training is accomplished affordably by a variety of remote processes (webinars, etc). Quality checkpoints like Carrier/Broker Expectations, Field Do’s and Don’ts, background checks, site evaluation forms, case debrief forms all add up to satisfied clients for the carriers or brokers.
Carriers and brokers can also specify now not only the locations (in the country) of need but also the qualifications of the enrollers being used. Enroller networks can now search based on the enroller expertise (for example LTCi experience). Most networks therefore can engage the “closest qualified” enroller. Additionally, the enrollers have all of the necessary insurance coverage and are “employees” of a third party thus lessening the liability for carriers or brokers. All of the payroll issues are taken care of by a third party as well as end of year reporting.
The time has never been better for the use of enrollers.
Pat Galla has been providing worksite benefits in the Louisville, Ky area since 1982. In 1997 he entered the enrollment side of the business and since that time has been an enroller himself. Over the years he had the opportunity to meet and train many talented enrollers from across the country. He started sending advisory newsletters to his database in 2002 and then the carriers came calling. He has helped some of the nation’s largest carriers implement their own enroller programs. Pat is fond of saying the “Carriers no longer have to reinvent the wheel when considering an enroller program. Enroller programs are easily installed as long as certain tried and true tenants are incorporated”.
The Enroller Resource Center LLC (ERC) offers enrollers many tools to help them improve their skills and navigate the waters of enrollment work. ERC provides training, plan implementation advice, 24/7 online scheduling for events.
For more information or for a free guide called “Things to consider when implementing an Enroller Program” please visit www.EnrollerResourceCenter.com or write to Pat Galla at pat@EnrollerResourceCenter.com.