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Going Independent - Input, Please?


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Hi All...I'm a noob here and have found this place to be a GREAT resource. Here are a couple of questions. I'm in Texas, I hold a Series 7, 66 and L&H license. I'm interested in going on my own after becoming disenchanted with my current situation. I'm 41 and have always had my own business (ever since college!), so the idea is what holds most appeal for me. I don't want to be captive any longer and feel absolutely trapped in my current gig (It's United American...I know, I know...but I like UA's Medicare stuff and that's all I market). Their health stuff doesn't thrill me at all.

My plans are to sell UA Med Supps to seniors who got screwed on Medicare Advantage plans and I'm working with a number of home health companies to 'convert' their clients over to good ol' Medicare supplements. That is working out very well.

My goal is to sell health policies, do financial planning/advisory and other financial services. I'm also thinking about getting my P&C license. But that's not firm yet.

I want to be on my own...entirely. I don't care about training, so much...I've got some good experience (about 4 years as an advisor/agent), but I need some direction on how to go it alone. I want to be out of the way of meddlesome managers who have no clue what they are doing. I really just want to not feel as trapped as I do right now...this sucks.

Which companies should I get contracted with? What are the typical expenses involved? Any other tips/secrets/ideas are more than welcome.

Thanks in advance!
My advice is to just go after one market at a time. It's hard to sell health and try to do work on the investment side. My suggestion for you is to maybe work the senior market and get appointed with a few more competitive medsup companies in Texas. UA is rediculously over priced. There are some great carriers that have much better rates. The benefit of working with seniors is you already know the market and you can cross sell and transition into some investment sales. Underage health is not what it's cracked up to be if you are successful in the senior market. I would work underage on a solely referral basis (kids of your medsup sales)if you really want to break into that market, and use the senior market as your bread and butter. I too used to sell sups with UA and not only are they overpriced, they will rip you on commissions. There are a couple of FMO's here in Texas I work with that will give you a nice contract with some good companies. If you would like their info, shoot me a PM.
Do you have a decent amount of assets under management now? Would you have to leave it behind?

There are a few BD/GAs outthere that you might be able to work with. Most will want a certain level of production, but some are willing to work from a bottom line basis.

I am looking for a new BD for my 6,63 business because my current BD is basically changing into a not really employee...employee situation. Kind of a "your independent, but you must do X for us.." meanwhile they do nothing marketing wise to help for their healthy cut of my commissions.
for Under 65 biz you want to get contracted with UNICARE -877-864-2468
They are normally going to be the most affordable coverage. They pay 20% commissions and give you a 6 month advance when someone fills out the automatic bank withdrawals on their payments.

I would recommend looking into to Golden Rule (United Health Care) as well. They are pretty good and sometimes can beat UNICARE. If you go through me I can get you a 20% annualized commission deal. Just go to www.HealthGeneralAgent.com and fill out the paperwork for that.

Aetna is OK there as well and if someone is a smoker without any other conditions and good height and weight they are typically going to be your best bet. 20% as earned with them.

You can visit http://www.aetna.com/producer/why_aetna/compensation/index.html for more information on them.
Thanks guys! I realized after I posted this thread that there is an entire FORUM set up for this kind of thing...mods, feel free to move it. Sorry I posted incorrectly.

Here's the good news. I've left UA altogether (well, still a GA, but it's out of the picture). Not only was I getting fed up with the crappy products (except for certain, albeit rare, cases), the whole political morass was too much to handle. So hasta la vista UA...good riddance!

I'm working on getting appointed with all the majors...MofA, UniCare (took the certification for Part D today), GR, and all the other usual suspects. It's a lot less complicated than I thought it would be...and it's coming along very nicely.

What will I leave behind at UA? I have been the top agent in the branch for a bit (switching off with another agent who is in the same boat as I was - she's gonna be taking off soon, too, I hope/believe...we're very good friends). But my renewal checks have been pretty decent at ~2k/month. Got hit with 3 chargebacks this months and I'll be seeing a whole 122 dollars...woohoo! I'm sure as a GA that I'll keep getting 'some' kind of renewal income, and I've written good business so it should stick. Just as aside, one of the unit managers (of the two there) has a 14% persistency...FOURTEEN PERCENT. And she's a freakin' manager?? Seriously, what a bunch of cheesemakers that whole outfit is. Can't believe I wasted 6 months in la-la land with them. Some good experience, but overall...blah!

I've got a good direction, I believe. I've been self employed for most of the last 16-17 years, so I have that gene. And for the last part of my stay at UA, I wasn't even using their (crappy) leads...I was using my own lists to contact people. Had better success with that anyhow...and now I can truly service them as their AGENT, not as a salesperson. I'm really, really excited.

As for my NASD licenses. I'm working on that, too...but not sure exactly what will happen there yet. I've laid a base with insurance that I need to take advantage of now, as opposed to clients that I could service with financial advisory things. But that will happen, as well.

All is good, but I'll have more questions that I'll be posting in the appropriate forum from now on. Thanks for the input, ideas and inspiration!

This is an incredible resource...!