Executives at some major medical insurers now seem to be more inclined to hide under a table than to recruit an agent or try to increase sales of commercial health insurance products. 

Andrew Glaub, the  director of sales at Aflac U.S., is eager to recruit new agents, and he sees plenty of opportunity for new agents to write profitable voluntary benefits business.

“The need is greater today than it’s ever been,” Glaub said today in an interview.

Glaub began working at Columbus, Georgia-based Aflac in 1985, when it was still known as American Family Life Assurance Co. of Columbus, it mostly sold cancer insurance and some life insurance, and the Aflac Duck had not yet quacked its way into television viewers’ hearts.

Today, the company sells a wide range of health-related products at the worksite, including critical illness insurance, disability insurance and telemedicine plans, and it’s one of the biggest insurers in the market.

Because most of Aflac’s U.S. products are resistant to low interest rates, and because the products fall outside the reach of the Affordable Care Act major medical insurance requirements, Aflac is now in a much stronger position than many other life and health insurers.

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But Glaub said what he likes most about his job is that the products help people in their time of need.

“The value of our products has only enhanced over time,” he said.

The real, live Aflac Duck enjoys the spotlight as he takes his first steps down the red carpet at the 2015 The Grammy in January 2015.

The real, live Aflac Duck enjoys the spotlight as he takes his first steps down the red carpet at the 2015 The Grammy in January 2015. (Photo: Eric Reed/AP Images for Aflac)

 

His start with Aflac

Glaub was working in his family’s grocery business when he got a chance to take a commission-only sales job at American Family Life.

Aflac now has more products, more technology and a more consultative approach to sales, he said.

He said the company offers better opportunities than it did when he started, partly because of the investment in the Duck, and in a program to promise to pay clean claims within one day.

The Affordable Care Act has increased the level of competition in the worksite market, but it’s also expanded the market, by making employers more eager to hear about benefits ideas, and by increasing the amount of out-of-pocket costs that workers need to cover with their own insurance, Glaub said.

Many insurance agents who have been selling products such as long-term care insurance and individual health insurance are now looking for opportunities to branch out.

The agents in those markets who might want to consider the voluntary benefits markets are those who enjoy talking to employers and learning about employers, and those who enjoy talking to groups of people at enrollment meetings, Glaub said.

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