My Thanksgiving Project
I have just finished a 47 page document on health insurance with approximately 18,600 words. It is my largest assignment to date and required serious focus as I worked. Health insurance is a broad topic with plenty of research material out there. In fact, the amount of information available is a bit overwhelming. When I’m researching, I may have several websites open at a time trying to gauge which site might be better on one subtopic verses than another.
In this project, the use of non-profit websites exclusively narrowed the search slightly. Even so, with the Affordable Care Act in its 3rd year and Open Enrollment season underway, it is amazing to see how many times the same information is offered up in multiple locations, with different formats and visuals. So many major changes have been implemented and they will continue to evolve until 2022. I played mix and match trying to get the right combination of relevant health insurance information that I thought would work best for the person needing it.
I used to sell insurance and that was helpful on where to start a project of this size. Always explaining products to clients, I knew how often a detailed explanation of insurance can fall on deaf ears if using too many industry terms or complex situations as examples. Changing the way you talk to your colleagues’ verses clients is very important. One of the reasons I don’t sell insurance anymore is due to the difficulty and volume of terms and definitions the general public needs to know to make an informed decision. The products, qualifications, and laws surrounding insurance are forever changing.
Insurance agents go through state licensing to learn each type of insurance. It is far more important to know where to find the material rather than memorize it because that would literally be impossible. Beyond the basics, companies have guidelines for standard coverage and then throw in something to make their product unique in some way. I was an independent agent and worked with several different companies. I needed to know which company had a policy with a particular aspect my client needed. I had to know which company had underwriting guidelines that met my clients’ situation. There were separate forms for each company and the submission process was different for every single one. Remembering all my agent numbers was as ridiculous as trying to remember my log-in and password IDs on each insurance portal.
The effort involved in getting a client the right policy and understanding it meant I gave considerable quality to my client. Unfortunately, I could not turn out the quantity needed to pay my bills. I find I am much better suited to what I do now. At least my knowledge comes in handy when I am purchasing my own policies or giving advice to others who ask. I am also sympathetic to the lives and personalities of insurance agents. It’s a tough job.
This writing assignment was an opportunity to see if I could provide the immense amounts of material in an easy to read, concise, and comprehensive way. It was a monumental undertaking even with my background. I am hopeful that the client who purchased the content will be able to display it with optimum effect and convenience for their audience. That was the goal.