If you sell health insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance or other personal protection products, you can look in the mirror and tell yourself that, on a good day, you did everything you know how to do to protect people from disaster.
One of the disasters you could protect people against is shingles.
Shingles affects people who have had ordinary, itchy chicken pox. The immune system traps the chicken pox virus in a biological dungeon. The virus seems to be gone. Years later, illness, exhaustion or aging weakens the patient’s immune system. The virus creeps out of a branch of the nervous system. It attacks the patient with headaches, fevers and, in some cases, an excruciating, crippling rash. Sometimes, shingles causes severe pain for years, or for the rest of the patient’s life.
U.S. physicians and pharmacies offer a shingles vaccine.
Every major medical plan subject to the Affordable Care Act preventive services mandate must cover the vaccine for people ages 60 and older without imposing a deductible or co-payment on the enrollee. Many commercial plans include the vaccine in their preventive services package for people as young as 50. Medicare Part D prescription drug plans also include the vaccine in their preventive services packages.
Of course, you’re not a doctor. Some people have concerns about the value of any given vaccine, including this one.
But any agent or broker who mentions flu shots in wellness blogs or similar campaigns could consider providing standard information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommending that readers talk to health care providers about the shingles vaccine.
This kind of “protection marketing” fits in with what insurance professionals do every day: helping people think about the unthinkable.
The products you sell can be a blessing when they perform as expected for the right people.
Of course, in the real world, it’s hard to know exactly how products will work. Clients may misunderstand the claim process, or be too tired to meet the claim-filing and documentation requirements. Some may buy too little coverage, or let coverage lapse right before they need it.
Prospects may walk away with nothing. They may choose to spend their disposable income on beer, clothes or vacations.