ShiftShapersCoverArt This week, we welcome Reid Rasmussen, co-owner and president of Texas-based Freshbenies.  Reid is a former Canadian whose background informed his insight into the future of American healthcare reform and helped him to shape the shift by creating a unique product offering that provides help to those dealing with today’s health care designs.

Tune in to learn how Freshbenies helps brokers make “big company benefits” available to a much broader market and where Reid sees that marketplace going in the future.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • What Reid saw in Canada that transferred into an understanding of
    coming needs in the USA.
  • How looking outside the health care industry informed Reid’s process.
  • Why there was a need to make “big company” benefits available to individuals.
  • How Reid helps insurance brokers to see non-insured products in a different light.
  • Reid’s vision of the future of today’s benefits brokers.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

On today’s episode, we are pleased to be speaking with John Spann of Spann Insurance in Nashville. I invited John the program to discuss innovative conversations he is using to position more traditional benefits in a post-reform market.

A 63-year old third-generation property & casualty insurance agency with an internal benefits practice, Spann Insurance was created by John’s grandparents in 1951. Learn how John’s family-run agency has been able to re-evaluate its benefits practice and help clients create employee appreciation in the light of health care reform.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How the employee benefits practice fits within a P&C agency and what some of the challenges are.
  • How PPACA has shifted the focus of John’s approach to his book of (mostly) small group clients.
  • How John creates a new opportunity for employers to provide appreciated benefits when their employees purchase their core coverage from the exchanges.
  • How John leverages individual products within a group motif.
  • How disability income can be used as a “new” benefit.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

On this episode of The ShiftShapers Podcast, I am talking to Jimmy Parrish. Jimmy has had a 15-year career in employee benefits focusing exclusively on non-insured plans.  He markets legal and identity theft protection plans to groups and has been among the top 20 producers since he began his practice.

I invited Jimmy to the show to share how he was able to build a successful employee benefits business stay on top of his game for 15 years without ever selling an insured product. In a post-PPACA world, where brokers are diversifying their practices, some are considering adding these plans to their portfolio. Learn how Jimmy approaches the market and how his experience and strategy can help you as well.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How the landscape has changed and created an awareness for the need for legal and identity theft protection plans.
  • What Jimmy does to work with brokers.
  • Where Jimmy’s efforts to educate the public have taken him.
  • Why coverage has been developed to protect employers as well as their employees.
  • How the legal services business has evolved beyond the traditional multi-level marketing arrangement that once characterized the industry.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

It is an honor to welcome the Chancellor of the American College of Financial Services Dr. Larry Barton to the show this week. Dr. Barton holds the O. Alfred Granum Chair in Management at the college and is an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Over the course of his career, Dr. Barton also served as Motorola’s Vice President of Crisis Management and the President of Herald College and DeVry University.

When Dr. Barton first became president in 2003, the college was in crisis. Utilizing his extensive experience, Dr. Barton restructured and honed the college’s focus in order to enhance its presence as a leader in financial education. Tune in to find out what changes Dr. Barton helped make that will ensure that American College will continue to thrive and what the future holds for the seasoned educational institution.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How the college was “running out of runway” when Dr. Barton became president in 2003.
  • What structural and financial challenges Dr. Barton had to face and the hard decisions he had to make when he first became president.
  • How an open, honest and transparent dialogue helped to facilitate and achieve the system-wide transformation that was required.
  • Why benefits professionals need to go beyond an RHU or REBC designation to survive and to best serve their clients’ needs in a post-PPACA environment
  • The programs The American College currently offers, including the new Masters and Doctorate programs.
  • What the college plans for the future  to remain relevant and reach their students in new and exciting ways.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

This week, I am pleased to bring John Garven on the program. John is the founder and president of Benico, an employee benefit brokerage and consulting firm based in the Chicago area.

I invited John on the show to talk about the shift he made from a traditional commission-based model to his current fee-based practice. John shares the details of his transition, as well as the key elements of a fee-based model. For anyone interested in pursuing this model, John imparts insightful advice that can help your business thrive.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • John’s background in the benefits market.
  • How John made the shift to a fee-based practice.
  • The clients’ reaction to the transition.
  • John’s advice for those thinking about switching over to fee basis.
  • Benico’s pricing breakdown for its deliverables.
  • The reasons behind the strategic partnership between Benico and Benefit Advisors Network.
  • John’s vision for healthcare reform and how it might impact the agency.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

This week, we are pleased to welcome Jennifer Borislow, the founding principal of Borislow Insurance in Massachusetts. She is an author, industry thought leader and past president of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Borislow Insurance’s client-centric approach primarily focuses on employee benefits, using an innovative 7-discipline, 3-year model with specialized teams in each area to ensure the highest standard of client care.

Listen is as Jennifer shares an incredible story of how she learned the value of disability income insurance, and how it changed her practice forever. Don’t miss this insightful episode!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How of Borislow Insurance came about and how it’s organized.
  • The agency’s unique 7-discipline model.
  • Why Jennifer specialized in disability income.
  • How the agency uses disability income as a differentiator.
  • How Jennifer’s benefits agency positions disability as an integral part of their 3-year approach toward each client firm they serve.
  • Simple, yet powerful tool that has helped Jennifer and her partner, Mark Gaunya, build their essential corporate culture described in their book Inspire to Act.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

In addition to creating a presence for his company, Rogers Benefit Group, in a new, carrier rich environment, Jeff Hogan has created unique partnerships with his brokers that help them to deliver an engaging, modern and consultative approach to employee benefits.

They encourage employers to view their benefits offerings just as they would any other (non-benefits) asset. Once that mindset is in place, Jeff works closely with his brokers to bring data and analytics to decisions about everything from core benefits to wellness and other benefit initiatives.

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about their innovative and successful approach. See how you can adapt their model to your practice to bring greater value and differentiate your agency.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How Jeff and his team established themselves as a top competitor in a challenging environment
  • What led to their “benefits as corporate asset” strategy
  • How they create partnerships with their brokers
  • What steps they take to create long-term relationships with employers
  • Innovative steps they have taken to bring other relevant stakeholders into the equation.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

Can waste in healthcare be eliminated without being disruptive, while also engaging physicians and creating transparency? We’re pleased to welcome Frank Roby to the program today, to answer this question. He is the CEO of RevelationMD and has a background in employ benefits, mainly in healthcare industry.

Working in larger-case, self-funded arenas, RevelationMD aims to eliminate waste and improve quality in today’s healthcare system through the power of their physician-centered data bridge.  In this episode Frank Roby explains how his platform not only brings all the stakeholders together, but also factors in an important, mostly forgotten part in the cost equation – the physician.

In order to successfully achieve that, RevelationMD provides a flow of information that better enables the physicians to offer proper care for the company’s employees. This system also benefits physicians through the employer or the insurance company’s willingness to share the savings that physicians can achieve by better outcomes and by helping to find better pricing options through their transparency.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The history of the shift in employee benefits of healthcare industry.
  • The reasons why RevelationMD works in larger, self-funded arenas, and how this information can help mid and smaller market folks.
  • How physicians benefit from RevelationMD’s approach.
  • How RevelationMD’s efforts affect transparency of pricing to the ensured individuals.
  • Possible trajectory of where the industry is headed and how RevelationMD fits into this.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

This week, we welcome Joe Fernandez, from The Benefits Expert (TBX), to the show. Joe explains how TBX created an animated and engaging front end to the traditional online enrollment system. TBX uses media content, decision support, and interactive experience for employees to learn about benefits. It also points out the opportunities to fill the gaps in employees’ core plan with voluntary benefits that sell themselves.

Listen in to learn how TBX recreated enrollment software that engages, educates, and enhances the selling process and which can be provided and customized at no up-front cost. Joe will explain the reasons why his system is a great differentiator for brokers and how his new approach helps to market employee benefits more effectively. Don’t miss this episode!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How The Benefits Expert not only enrolls – it helps brokers sell.
  • TBX’s innovative methods of employee engagement, education, and enrollment.
  • TBX’s new simplified way of bundling benefits that increases the take-up rates dramatically.
  • Why these benefit bundles work better than allowing the employees to pick their options.
  • How and why TBX is able to offer their technology at no up-front cost to brokers.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?

ShiftShapersCoverArt

Today, we welcome  Tony Boquet, vice president of the American College. We begin our wide-ranging interview with a discussion of the Penn Mutual Center for Veteran Affairs. The Center is a scholarship-based program which helps veterans returning from different conflicts around the world to get the education they need to build careers in the financial services industry.

We also discuss new programs and designations on both the life and the benefits side of the business, including some specially targeted to new areas of concentration. We also learn how the college is also keeping up with the times with new state-of-the-art audio and video production facilities, new ways to access content, and more.

In an ever-more complex marketplace, education may be more important than ever. For more than 87 years, The American College has provided a variety of educational tracks geared to benefits and financial services professionals. As a former producer himself, Tony’s perspective and enthusiasm for the forward direction of the college makes for a great and engaging interview. Don’t miss this one!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The success stories of two Veterans Program graduates who recently received their master’s degrees.
  • The reasons why the American College and financial services education is more relevant today than ever.
  • All about the new Income Retirement Course and what it entails.
  • The background and details about the new Special Needs designation.
  • How RHU and REBC have morphed into a new designation that reflects the post-PPACA world.
  • The new technology and innovations the College embraced to provide a top-notch education to their clients.

Featured On The Show:

Listen To The Full Interview:

Enjoy The Show?