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Blue Shield of California Changes How They Service Brokers

by John Hansen

Blue Shield of California Brings the Regional Sales Managers Back to Headquarters

In 2015, one of the top carriers with Covered California, Blue Shield, pulled their fifteen Regional Sales Managers (RSM’s) out of the field and brought them back to the main office to service their agents remotely. This allowed their RSM’s to service more agents and to serve them more effectively.

Regional Sales Managers (RSM’s) Traveled the State of California

Typically, health insurance carriers have Regional Sales Managers driving all over the state of California visiting brokers. They visit about five brokers a day, make that personal connection and offer to help their agents in any way they can.

Each RSM has his or her own region. Depending on how well that region does for the carrier, they reward the RSM accordingly. The #1 goal is to get the agents to sell more Blue Shield. Mobile Regional Sales Managers do that in several ways:

  • Visit the agents in their local offices
  • Connect relationally (smiles, handshakes and personal conversation)
  • Make the agents feel valued
  • Make the agents feel supported
  • Convince the agents that Blue Shield is the best

Pros and Cons of Bringing the RSM’s Back to Headquarters

Stuck behind a desk and a phone, the smiles, handshakes and personal conversation are minimized, but the ability to help agents trouble shoot problems with enrollments, billing, claims, etc. has been greatly improved. For old time agents who put a lot of value on that personal connection, this may seem like a drawback.

However, for Covered California Blue Shield, they see this as a smart move to service agents better, take care of clients better and save money. Now they have eight representatives working from an office servicing their top 1200 agents.

With the California health insurance marketplace beings so competitive and highly regulated, medical insurance carriers are looking for anything they can do to cut costs and improve procedures in order to keep health care affordable.