Two Scenes From The Not-To-Distant Future:
Four white-haired gentlemen enjoying breakfast at McDonald’s were approached by two individuals, a man and a woman, both in business attire and carrying briefcases. The man addressed the diners while the woman opened her laptop.
“Good morning gentlemen. I am agent Rogers and this is agent Moore. As per Ohio Representative Bill Dean, we are here about Ohio House Bill 675 signed into law by Governor DeWine on August 15, 2022. This will take just a few moments. We need your name and the name of your Medicare Supplement company.”
As Bob reached into his pocket to find his insurance card, a young mother rushed over to the table. “These two aren’t government agents. They’re insurance agents. I saw them here last week.” Rogers, the insurance agent, started to protest that they were allowed to solicit Medicare Supplements at public places and even McDonald’s. Bob noted that this might be legal, but it certainly isn’t right.
The elderly couple pushed their shopping cart through the parking lot. Just as they opened their trunk, a young man rushed up to their car. It took a moment or two for the couple to fully grasp the situation. Finally the woman spoke up. “Thank G-d you’re just some skeevy insurance agent. We thought you had a gun.”
This could be our future if the State of Ohio passes House Bill 675. This isn’t a large bill. It will only take you a couple of minutes to read it. Ohio Representative Bill Dean (R-74) is the bill’s sponsor. I plan to provide a copy of his testimony to every client who complains to me about insurance agents bothering them at their homes or at dinner. Some of you might think that I am exaggerating the risk. Is the State of Ohio encouraging insurance agents to accost us? This is from Representative Dean’s testimony:
The current rule, Ohio Administrative Code 3901-8-09, prohibits virtually all agent-generated communications with potential clients unless it’s through direct mail or if the potential supplemental insurance client is already a business client. Here are a few examples of how restrictive the current prohibitions are:
- An agent calling fellow members of a 65+ group at his or her church about purchasing supplemental insurance;
- An agent sending a Facebook message about interest in purchasing insurance to someone they graduated from high school with 50 years ago;
- An agent approaching a group of seniors enjoying their coffee at McDonald’s and asking them if they’re interested in chatting about supplemental insurance.
Unless the agent has an existing business relationship with these potential customers, all of these interactions violate the current rule in place. Representative Dean wants to change that.
I’m 67. I get all of the solicitations from out-of-state call centers. Most of them are illegal but somehow beyond the reach of the Ohio Department of Insurance. It is annoying to have my cellphone ring at 7 AM on a Saturday morning. We (seniors) may not have to answer the phone, but we do have to see who is calling us. It could be important. It might be a sick friend or family member. We need less people hounding us, not more. We don’t need someone knocking on our door, approaching us in a restaurant, or tracking us down in a parking lot. Representative Dean thinks that Ohio’s seniors are being deprived of important purchasing opportunities. And he must think that we are lonely. Are you? Are you lonely tonight?
Picture – It’s A Trap – David L Cunix and Ari