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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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In may practices and organizations, the laser focus on strategy overshadows another critically important component of business – our culture. Rick Bauman, our guest for this episode, will explain why culture defines your organization, and drives brand, customer satisfaction and has a direct correlation to productivity. In an age where differentiation is a huge challenge for many organizations, culture is perhaps the biggest differentiator of all.

Rick Bauman is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder and head coach of Intellectual Capital Coaching Corporation. I invited Rick to speak about culture, where it comes from, how it’s created and why it’s critically important to individual practices and organizations alike. Join us to learn how to understand, define and sharpen your culture to deliver superior results.

At the end of the interview, learn how to get a free copy of Rick’s Cultural Engagement Assessment Tool which will help you create a starting point for improving your culture. This is a special exclusive offer for ShiftShapers listeners.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • What culture is exactly.
  • How culture is created within organizations.
  • Whether culture can be measured.
  • The correlation between engagement and profitability.
  • The importance of giving feedback to your employees.

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Today, we are very pleased to speak with Phil Wilkins, director of Partner Development at GuideSpark. Phil is an expert on the subject of modern communication strategies and he shares his thoughts on new strategies to communicate important benefit concepts to employees.

In this era of communication immediacy, multimedia strategies have begun to replace paper booklets and often, enrollment meetings. More than three quarters of all Internet users today engage with videos as a means of learning. Tune in to learn about using these new tools to create emotional connections that engage today’s employees.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Why employee engagement is so important.
  • Whether paper is now a dead medium for communicating with employees.
  • The importance of making an emotional connection with employees.
  • How to deliver engaging content on the device an employee chooses.
  • How benefits advisers can use this information to differentiate themselves in today’s market.

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This week on the ShiftShapers podcast, we are very excited to bring you a great conversation with Shane Wolverton, senior vice president of Corporate Development for Comparion Medical Analytics. Shane’s research shows that despite the constant historical focus on “cost”, the real opportunity to drive down medical spend is to focus on quality.

Drawing on 20 years of experience in the field, Shane discusses how benefits advisors can take what may seem to be a complicated tangle of measurements and create a simple, easy-to-understand system that engages employees and employers alike. Shane will explain why, in the final analysis, “Quality is cost.”

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Shane’s background.
  • Why there isn’t a “true north” when it comes to quality metrics.
  • The common quality measures advisors can look at.
  • How two hospitals in the same town can vary so much in quality, and what does that mean for total cost.
  • How advisors take can this complicated tangle of measurements and use them to create value for employers and employees.

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Private exchanges are evolving into a “version 2.0, Health Care As A Service” model. In this week’s interview, we chat with Taylor Pechacek of Maxwell Health, a company that had its beginnings in wellness. Today, the company is changing its focus and is helping to shape the employee experience by shifting the way employees can shape their personalized healthcare dynamic and elect and manage a much wider range of benefits in a year-round private exchange setting.

In today’s environment, employees want to to expand and personalize their benefits experience. Beyond access to their usual medical, vision, dental and possibly ancillary coverage, they want to select from things like childcare services, legal and identity theft plans, wearable activities, sleep monitoring and rewards programs.

I invited Taylor to discuss how benefit advisors can increase their value proposition and differentiate themselves from others with some of the new tools available. Listen in to learn how to harness this evolving trend and use it to bring a new conversation to your prospects and clients.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Maxwell Health’s beginnings in the Wellness space.
  • How they are expanding what health care insurance is today.
  • What a “personalized health care dynamic” is.
  • How benefit advisors discuss this new model with prospects and clients.
  • Whether user experience is the new differentiator.
  • Why the benefits continuum is a 12-month a year process; not just an open-enrollment period process.

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Jonathan Anders, the Executive Vice President for Business and Corporate Development at HealthJibe, joins us on the program this week. HealthJibe is a tool for modern internet-connected devices that helps consumers stay on top of their well-being and physical health.

On this episode, Jonathan shares his insight into how internet-connected devices are going to start shaping the health and wellness profiles in the post-ACA world. Find out how consumers are currently using tools like HealthJibe to incorporate health risk management and prevention into their daily digital routines.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • What “The Internet of Things” is and why it matters in healthcare.
  • How our  digital routines and can be used to foster wellness.
  • Whether the devices like FitBit and Google’s contact lens glucometer are the way of the future for digital health and wellness.
  • The effects of PPACA  on the evolution of Web 2.0 devices and individualism in wellness.
  • Why brands like HealthJibe choose to focus on metabolic syndrome.

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On this episode of ShiftShapers, we welcome Dr. Erika Bliss, President and CEO of Qliance, a Seattle-based pioneer in the Direct Pay Primary Care (DPPC) practice model. Established in 2006, Qliance is delivering impressive results by focusing on an on-demand primary care model. With the increased personal responsibility consumers face with today’s plan designs, DPPC is becoming increasingly significant in helping to keep patients healthy while helping them to manage out of pocket expenses.

I invited Erika to the program to share her journey within the healthcare system and the shifts that DPPC has shaped in the process. Unsatisfied with the traditional healthcare model after working a number of years as a primary care physician, Erika transitioned into a new, more efficient model.

Listen in as Erika explains how the Direct Primary Care model eliminates the co-pays and deductibles that are often a barrier to routine and preventive care while also increasing patient health and satisfaction.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Erika’s background in healthcare.
  • What Direct Primary Care is.
  • How Qliance’s model works.
  • Whether the payers value managed care if they see the cost savings DPC practice models can deliver.
  • Whether it make sense to charge a co-pay for primary care.
  • Why the DPC model is more relevant in a post-ACA world.

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