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Health National Accounts Reps Come Out Ahead in Comp Rankings

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What You Need to Know

  • BDO has data on 1,900 health insurance sales positions.
  • The numbers can show you where the money is.
  • The money may give everyone else ideas about what's hot.

Health insurance sales reps who handle big, national accounts may earn more than twice as much as reps who work with individuals and families.

Analysts at BDO USA LLP have published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a survey of health insurance organizations with about 1,900 sales-related positions.

BDO USA — an arm of BDO International, a large, Chicago-based accounting firm — is not saying much about the survey sample. It’s not clear how well the participants reflect pay scales at all U.S. health insurance sales organizations.

At the organizations that did participate, the median level of total 2020 cash compensation was $241,270 for senior sales reps who were working with national accounts.

Here’s what median 2020 total cash compensation looked like for some other types of senior health insurance sales reps:

  • Large Group: $177,719
  • Small Group: $153,676
  • Medicare Plans: $123,243
  • Individual Health: $101,457

BDO organizes the health insurance sales comp surveys, and other compensation surveys, to support its compensation consulting practice. The compensation consulting team helps employers set pay and design incentive compensation programs.

The Seniority Differential

The BDO survey team found that senior sales reps did much better in 2020 than junior reps at increasing their pay.

The team found, for example, that the median total amount of cash compensation earned by all types of junior health insurance sales reps fell 1% between 2019 and 2020.

For senior reps, the median total amount of cash paid increased 16%.

Heat Clues

For sales reps, the BDO compensation numbers show where the money is.

For everyone else, sales comp trends can be a sign of which markets are hot and which are not.

Between 2018 and 2020, median total cash pay for reps included in the BDO survey data increased 16% for the national accounts reps, increased 3.5% for the Medicare plan reps, and fell 25% for the individual health reps.

The poor performance of the individual health reps could be a sign that talk of recovery in the individual health market has been exaggerated.

The apparent drop in individual health rep pay could also be due at least partly to a change in the BDO survey participant mix.

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