Senior Market Sales Enters Under-65 Individual Health Insurance Market With Acquisition of O’Neill Marketing
Strategic Partnership Also Opens Affordable Care Act Market to Alliant Insurance Services
Omaha, Nebraska – Senior Market Sales® (SMS), one of the industry’s premier insurance marketing organizations (IMOs), has entered the under-65 individual health market with its acquisition of O’Neill Marketing. The move also opens the Affordable Care Act (ACA) market to SMS’ parent company, Alliant Insurance Services.
SMS’ more than 71,000 contracted independent agents gain access not only to a flourishing market but also to O’Neill Marketing’s robust ACA product and technology platform.
This new SMS vertical also expands the reach of Alliant, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing insurance brokerage and consulting firms. By adding O’Neill Marketing, Alliant can now offer employers the ability to help employees with non-covered spouses and children attain ACA coverage.
“The partnership with O’Neill Marketing creates huge opportunities for synergies for both SMS and Alliant,” said SMS President Jim Summers. “Coming off a record ACA open enrollment period and with recent legislation extending subsidies for another three years, the timing could not be better for us to enter the under-65 health market.”
More than 16.3 million people chose an ACA Marketplace health plan during the most recent open enrollment period – Nov. 1, 2022, to Jan. 15, 2023 – marking the largest enrollment since the ACA started providing subsidized health insurance in 2014. The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law Aug. 16, 2022, ensures subsidies will remain in place for another three years, through 2025.
“As the ACA market continues to grow, there needs to be a tectonic shift in the industry toward technology and efficiencies,” said Charles (Chuck) O’Neill, President and Founder of the St. Petersburg, Florida, company. “If you’re not understanding, accepting and embracing technology, I think the world's going to pass you by, because companies like us are coming.”
Summers said O’Neill’s ACA expertise and technology were top reasons SMS sought the partnership, along with a shared commitment to serving agents and their clients, and a wide ACA product portfolio with ancillary products available for add-on sales.
Chuck O’Neill founded O’Neill Marketing in 2016, and with Kerry Van Iseghem leading the organization as Chief Executive Officer, the two grew the general agency to support 1,500 agents nationwide with cutting-edge agency management tools, strategic partnerships with web-based platforms for quoting and selling insurance, agent empowerment and marketing resources, back-office support and products from more than 100 health carriers.
While other companies approached O’Neill Marketing to acquire it, the executives chose SMS for its ability to quickly deliver the ACA technology to agents, Van Iseghem said.
“This is going to give us an opportunity to become one of the largest ACA agencies in the country,” he said.
Chuck O’Neill added: “The power of SMS and Alliant, combined with the O'Neill technology and our expertise in ACA, provides the opportunity for everybody to grow exponentially.”
About Senior Market Sales
Senior Market Sales® (SMS) represents top Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, annuity, life, long-term care, and travel insurance carriers in all 50 states. More than 65,000 independent insurance agents rely on SMS for proprietary technology, competitive insurance products, and expert training and service to help them leverage their time, make more money, and put their business in a position of distinction. Founded in 1982, SMS is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2020, SMS joined the Alliant Insurance Services family of companies. Call 1.800.786.5566 for more information.
About Alliant Insurance Services
Alliant Insurance Services is one of the nation’s leading distributors of diversified insurance products and services. We operate through a network of specialized national platforms and local offices to offer our clients a comprehensive portfolio of solutions built on innovative thinking and personal service. The business of managing risk is getting more complex, and Alliant is meeting this complexity head-on, not with more layers of management, but with more creativity and agility. Alliant is changing the way our clients approach risk management and benefits, so they can capitalize on new opportunities to grow and protect their organizations. Visit us at alliant.com.