The-Shift-Shapers-Podcast-(Rough-Comp-2)

It doesn’t do a lot of good if a firm has the best benefit plans in the world, but the employees don’t really know about them or understand how they work. What are some of the key tools and techniques you should use to make sure your client’s message is getting through? Ellen Anreder, Owner of Bleiweiss Communications, has spent her career helping Taft/Hartley Plans and others do just that.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How a picket line became a transformative event.
  • The 5 key components of an effective communication plan.
  • How to set measurable goals to assess your communication success.
  • Why it is important to brand your benefits plan.
  • Email and text messages alone fall short of getting the job done.

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Many firms are diversifying their client offerings and beefing up their value propositions to achieve success in the current environment. Some firms are finding that path by offering HR services. Barry Cohn and his wife’s firm have been moving in that direction and are about to make a big-time change to their practice.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • The story starts with Barry’s wife, Renee.
  • The synergy between plans and employee benefits.
  • How including HR changes the conversation.
  • The benefits of a mastergroup.
  • Can sole practitioners survive in the future?

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There is a great deal of discussion in our industry about “deconstructing” health plans and the benefits available when an employer embraces a deconstructed plan while working with the correct advisor. Robson Baker, advisor at Clarus Benefits, has studied this strategy and has great advice for those already working on deconstructed plans, and for those who aspire to help employers embrace this technique. 

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How Robson’s personal experience with the health care system shaped his thoughts and actions.
  • Is it just about “hidden cash flow”? 
  • How can you push the limits on transparency?
  • What one university is doing to help educate.
  • Getting beyond prehistoric solutions.

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Taylor Lindsey is a partner at Employee Benefit Consultants, but he is also the fourth-generation member of the firm and he is working to morph this highly-respected old-line agency into a totally modern value-based, data-driven firm. Listen in and learn some of the tools and techniques he has employed to overcome that challenge.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How the agency originally formed.
  • What geographical challenges added to the mix.
  • How to help very traditional employers make the transition.
  • How the sales cycle has changed dramatically.
  • Why starting with the financing is a bad idea.

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In this episode, we explore some of the most common questions advisors ask about self-funding and discuss concerns ranging from minimum group size to tools and techniques. Our guest on this episode of ShiftShapers is Adam Russo, Esq., co-founder and CEO of The Phia Group, as well as the founding and managing partner at a law firm, Russo & Minchoff. He believes that, in light of the healthcare reform, the current environment is full of exciting opportunities that many brokers can take advantage of.

We also have a frank exchange about what is behind recent efforts by some Departments of Insurance to try to put the brakes on certain segments of self-funding and the potential impact that may have on employers seeking an alternate to the fully insured marketplace.

All of us at ShiftShapers thank you for your continued support. We hope you’re enjoying the holidays with family, friends, great food, and this encore episode.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Adam’s journey and how The Phia Group came about.
  • How advisors can remain relevant in the current environment.
  • The minimum size for a successful self-funded group.
  • Why the government wants to stop or severely limit self-funding.
  • How can advisors begin the self-funded conversation.
  • What you need to devise a properly constructed client plan.

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On this episode of ShiftShapers, Tobe Gerard shares valuable insight into how she built a successful agency specializing in long-term care insurance. She had 20 years of experience in the insurance industry before starting her firm, and for the past 15 years, she’s built a highly efficient, effective and successful agency using a unique strategy.

Rather than finding prospects directly – as is the case with most practices – Tobe took a different route. Instead, she cultivates relationships with other professionals, including financial planners, life insurance brokers, accountants, and others. Her network continually refers clients to Tobe as a subject matter expert in long-term care insurance. Once the prospects began flowing, she developed a multi-part strategy to convert prospects into clients.

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 which tools and techniques are most effective for 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:

  • How Tobe was initially introduced to the insurance industry.
  • How she was able to build a referral-only practice.
  • 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, our guest and I discuss the new and diverse tools that advisors within the insurance industry are using to market their businesses. The fastest growing method happens to be video, and Bart Camarata is an expert on the topic.

Bart is the creator and host of BenefitAdvisor TV, where he leverages his Middle Tennessee State education to produce quality video content. Bart takes on some preconceptions about video – is it expensive to get started? and is it difficult to get started? We also discuss how advisors and agencies can begin to use video in a variety of ways to market their practices.

Listen in as Bart shares his thoughts on why he believes the video is the “King of All Media,” and explains how simple it can be for advisors to get started with the medium. We wrap up by laying out how video builds businesses and constitutes social proof in today’s market.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • The immediate advantages of video, including its ability to hit emotional chords better than other media.
  • Why video marketing is not just a “carrier thing.”
  • How advisors can get started with video.
  • How modern technology allows you to avoid breaking the bank and produce great content.
  • The ways that videos achieve social proof.

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The-Shift-Shapers-Podcast-(Rough-Comp-2)

Clients want more than a broker slinging the same old solutions – they want an advisor who can help them understand where the money is going, and how to control their spend over the entire claims spend continuum. Our guest on this episode, former professional poker player turned benefits advisor John Sbrocco, has spent time, money and a whole lot of effort to be that advisor, and in the 2-part interview, he shares what he has learned.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How did poker inform his insurance decisions?
  • What successful strategies do you need to employ first?
  • Three ways for clients to hire you as an advisor.
  • The role of social media.
  • Why you MUST use video.

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Forbes Magazine called our guest, David Contorno, “One of America’s most innovative benefits leaders.” So, what’s he up to and what tools, techniques and strategies is he bringing his clients? We discuss why the “old way” just isn’t working and how this leads employers to a dilemma. We also explore whether the advisor community is moving to a completely different delivery model.

David explains why talking to the C-Suite is the way to provide 21st-century advice to clients. We chat about how rationing of care has changed and how it has moved the industry and what questions advisors need to ask their clients. (Spoiler alert: those questions are VERY different than the traditional conversation).

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Why the old way isn’t working when it comes to the way we deal with benefits
  • The employee benefits see-saw and what that means to their well-being
  • Rationing of care and why it’s a real problem
  • Is CDHP a real thing that makes a real difference
  • The role of real ROI and what questions we need to ask

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Gene Thompson is both a Project Director and Director of Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI), an amazing facility that is delivering higher quality, lower cost care with greater patient satisfaction scores. Pioneered by Dr. Devi Shetti, a physician and health care visionary based in India, HCCI has become a leading model for medical tourism.

With the increased interest in self funding, the cost and quality curtain is being pulled back. Many U.S. companies are offering huge employee incentives in exchange for the quality and lower cost they provide. Gene offers a fascinating insight into this growing trend.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How does the vision of how health care is delivered in the west drive HCCI?
  • Who is Dr. Shetti and why is his model driving change in hospital-based care?
  • What pricing methodologies are at work and what savings are there?
  • How is quality measured in these facilities?
  • What is the experience like for an employee who takes advantage of HCCI opportunities in their plan?

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