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On previous episodes we’ve talked about the different tools and pieces of technology that advisors can use in their practices. But, according to a study conducted by this week’s guest, before we deploy the tools we need to assure that our strategies and tactics are aligned with the four basic types of employers.

Today, we welcome Eric Rentsch, Founder and CEO of CodeSixFour, an online resource center that uses latest research tools to help you become a “new generation benefit advisor”.

They recently undertook a fascinating study of some of the new market realities that  advisors are facing today. We invited Eric to share more about that study and what he and his company have learned from it regarding customer relations and new opportunities for custom solutions. Join us to hear Eric explain the study’s methodology, findings and conclusions.

As a bonus to ShiftShapers listeners, Eric has allowed us to give you access to the full study. Just click on the “Special Offer” button in the right-hand column. 

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Eric’s background,
  • What “Next Generation Advisor Study” is all about.
  • Our discussion about the new era of benefit design.
  • The four types of employers.
  • The six areas of capability that a next generation benefits advisor needs.
  • Strategies and tactics for the next generation advisors.

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In today’s on-demand market, clients are looking for progressively faster solutions to their problems. So how do we, as benefit advisors, keep up with the times? Our guest on this episode has just the solution.

Ryan Pinney is VP of Sales & Marketing at Pinney Insurance Center. He is an innovator and expert at using technology to drive insurance business and shorten sale cycles.

We invited Ryan to talk about how the sales funnel has evolved in light of technological advances as well as the importance of speeding up the sales and delivery cycles. We also discuss the tools benefit advisors should equip themselves with in order to compete electronically in today’s market. Tune in to this value-packed episode to find out what you can do to get started!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How Ryan’s life insurance practice experience and technology is applicable in all areas of the business.
  • How far behind insurance sales professionals are in technology.
  • The tools that advisors need to have in their arsenal to compete electronically.
  • What the sales funnel looks like today.
  • Why devices don’t matter.
  • What life insurance sales in China can teach us here in the USA.

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Advisors doing more and earning less need new tools to deal with today’s benefits environment. Unfortunately, according to our guest, our industry is behind the curve in the convergence of market change and technology.

Michael Lujan President and Co-founder of LimeLight Health and is also serving as President-elect of the California Association of Health Underwriters. Michael, a long time technologist, is dedicated to providing health insurance agents with a platform and tools that simplify complex proposal, renewal and benefits decisions.

Michael joins us today to discuss the current void in technology for benefits advisors and the importance of today’s insurance market catching up to other industries. We discuss how technology can help advisors become more effective and efficient while also differentiating them in their markets.  Join us to find out about the new tools available and how they can help you step up your game!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Michael’s background.
  • His involvement in Cover California.
  • Why advisors need 21st century tools.
  • What functionality is needed in the field.
  • How to get traditional advisors “tech-ed up.”
  • The future of the intersection of technology and benefits.

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In this episode we are speaking with Chris Hobbs, CFO at MediBid. As a Canadian who immigrated to the United States, Chris brings an interesting perspective on healthcare delivery – mainly the payment for healthcare. He believes that the Traditional PPO model is broken and that consumers need to know more than whether or not their provider is in-network before making provider and treatment choices. With that in mind, MediBid has shaped a new paradigm where physicians bid on non-emergent health care, often with dramatically lower costs and better outcomes.

We invited Chris to talk about why the post-ACA environment has exacerbated a long-standing problem that is ripe for non-traditional solutions. He believes that consumers should be able to make provider and procedure decisions using the same kind of tools available to them in nearly every other consumer arena. We discuss the types of quality metrics and tools the benefit advisors need to be aware of and what types of plan designs can benefit from such a service.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Chris’s background.
  • Why the traditional PPO model is broken.
  • The effect of ACA on the healthcare payment models.
  • Why quality metrics are important decision tools.
  • The importance of transparency in healthcare pricing.
  • What types of plans are best for this type of service

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Today on ShiftShapers podcast, we welcome Peter Schaub, president and CEO of NeoCertified. Peter is our go-to subject matter expert for learning about email encryption and security solutions. With the news of last week’s hack attack on Sony it is a great time for your practice to take some simple steps that secure your email communications.

We discuss the tools and techniques used by all sizes of businesses. Surprisingly for such a complex problem, there are simple solutions that you can apply today! Peter delves into the intricacies of secure email, how it works and why benefit advisors should use it. He will also discuss the legal requirements for securing your client and prospect communications.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How and why Peter got into secure email applications market.
  • What other industries require secure email.
  • Whether all communication need to be secure.
  • How vulnerable the information is that is sent electronically.
  • How to use secure email as a differentiator with clients.

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On this episode of ShiftShapers podcast, we’re very excited to welcome Tobe Gerard, the owner of Tobe Gerard Insurance. After 20 years in the industry she started her own agency, deciding to specialize exclusively in long-term care insurance. For the past 15 years she has been doing just that, but with a few unique practice parameters that have made the agency highly efficient, effective and successful.

Rather than finding prospects directly – as is the case with most practices – Tobe took a different route; cultivating relationships with other professional (such as financial planners, life insurance brokers, accountants and others) who are happy to refer their clients to a subject matter expert. Once the prospects began flowing, she developed a multi-part strategy to avoid being a “quote machine” with a file cabinet full of china eggs.

Join us to find out how Tobe was able to shape her successful referral-based long term care specialty practice and how it is doing in today’s environment. Learn about what tools and techniques are most effective in working with long term care clients and prospects and why the current trend of using riders on life plans may not always be the best solution for your clients.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Tobe’s background.
  • The reason she chose to specialize in long-term care.
  • Why her practice is referral-only.
  • How Tobe creates new sources of referrals for her agency.
  • Tools and techniques for working with long term clients.
  • What “Invisible Coverages” are.

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On this episode of ShiftShapers podcast, we welcome Craig Scurato, founder and managing member at Simplifi Benefits. Post ACA, Craig has crafted some tools and techniques that make the process of writing group insurance a lot less painful for employers. Included in his strategy is a unique approach to crafting and deploying direct pay primary care networks by working with physicians eager to find new practice models themselves.

Coupled with educating employers and employees about the benefits of using a health care allowance (Section 213(d) of IRC) and providing a comfortable environment with decision support and other tools, Craig has crafted an interesting and scalable model. Listen to learn more about Craig’s unique perspective and initiatives for helping employers turn ACA changes into a competitive advantage.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Craig’s background.
  • His interaction with Dr. Erika Bliss of Qliance (see Episode 26).
  • How and why physicians are adopting the DPPC model.
  • Why integrating DPPC with traditional offerings creates value for clients.
  • How other benefit advisors can use this approach.

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Today, we’re talking to Craig Lack, CEO of Premium Reduction Strategies. He is a best-selling author and nationally-recognized health care expert and an expert on self-funding who has appeared on ABC, CBS and FOX as well as in a number of national publications.

Craig’s 25-year experience in the industry has given him a deep understanding of the challenges facing benefit advisors in a post-ACA world. We invited Craig to discuss strategies such as the “Spousal Incentive HRA” and other opportunities for self funding created by the Affordable Care Act. He will also share why premiums are just “CRAP”.

Seasoned self funders and advisors new to the world of self funding will learn how to engage employers in compelling conversations that create differentiation and value.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The difference between fully-insured and self funded.
  • Why the premiums are just C.R.A.P.
  • Why this isn’t the typical renewal discussion.
  • How ACA has impacted the world of self funding.
  • What the Spousal Incentive HRA is.
  • Whether you should create a deductible rewards program.

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ShiftShapersCoverArtOur guest on the program today is Mindy Lamont, the creator and founder of The Insurist. The Insurist, as Mindy calls it, is a down-to-earth approach to insurance and employee benefits.

After her 14-year career in one of the largest insurance companies in the world, Mindy decided to walk away from the big corporate life and start her own insurance business, selling to groups online. Her more authentic and irreverent approach attracts a diverse crowd of clients, making The Insurist a thriving online company.

I invited Mindy to share her inspiring journey of becoming an independent broker as well as her unique approach to insurance. Find out how she was able to successfully evolve The Insurist from an online term life company to a successful group benefits advisor using old-world agency management techniques coupled with new-world technology.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How Mindy got into insurance market.
  • Why she left corporate America to start an “internet project.”
  • How she branched out from term life to a wider array of benefits.
  • Mindy’s unique approach to benefits.
  • Her upcoming insurance projects.

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ShiftShapersCoverArtYour existing groups are a perfect place to prospect for Guaranteed Standard Issue individual DI. The market is wide open, the underwriting is more accommodating than writing a single DI case and you can be creative with constructing the benefit for your clients. How do you do that?

This week we decided to do something a bit different today and invited Bob Tretter for our first in-studio interview. Bob is the Director of the Guaranteed Standard Issue Disability Income (DI) program at Ameritas. He is also a former president of the National Association of Health Underwriters and has spent his entire career in the DI market.

On this episode, we speak to Bob about the DI marketplace in general and guaranteed standard issue DI in particular. Tune in to find out how you can deliver more value, drive more revenue and differentiate your practice with this often overlooked product.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Bob’s background in disability income insurance.
  • The state of the disability income market in general.
  • What the market penetration of DI is.
  • What the opportunities are in DI market.
  • The definition of guaranteed standard issue disability income.

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