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It is my pleasure to welcome Ben Geyerhahn to the program. Ben is the CEO and founder of Benestream, a company that helps identify employer’s Medicaid-eligible employees and makes it easy for them to enroll in Medicaid. This provides a more appropriate plan design for that population while taking them off their employer’s core plan.

I’ve invited Ben to talk about how Benestream has shaped the shift with their distinctive methodologies and tools. We also cover how brokers can use Medicaid to help their clients save money and comply with PPACA.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How Ben’s experience in the public sector helped him to envision the shift and shape it into Benestream.
  • The path the company took to develop its unique methodology and software.
  • How Benestream works with brokers to help them bring the concept to their clients.
  • Why Medicaid-eligible employees have different needs than other employees.
  • Why Ben thinks the number of Medicaid expansion states will continue to increase.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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