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

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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A shift in communication and interaction with prospects and clients is the subject of Jeremiah Desmarais’ new book ….SHIFT. If you want to compete in today’s market, it is a must read.

Jeremiah is an old friend who always seems to be able to see –and oftentimes define – the cutting edge in communications strategies. In this interview, we will discuss everything from the Theory of Reciprocity to a one-line email that will deliver amazing results – if you can keep from messing with the formula.

We also discuss methods to drive greater engagement – a subject we talk about a great deal these days. Jeremiah explains why webinars are a great tool – but are more suited for B2B sales. We delve into how advisors can get and take advantage of media and much, much more.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What are the digital shifts that are happening that you need to be aware of.
  •  What does the Theory of Reciprocity mean and giving value unconditionally.
  •  What is the problem with email and how we can approach it differently as a communication medium.
  •  How you can be more effective interacting with and getting on media platforms.
  •  Why webinars should be an integral part of your business.

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Today’s advisors are being asked to do more . . . and often – with less. Can a CRM help increase your effectiveness along with your practice’s efficiency?
Commission compression, client expectations of broader and deeper service levels and an ever more complex industry have all put pressure on benefit advisors. In many practices, this has had a significant effect on profitability. On this episode of ShiftShapers we explore the wide world of CRM systems. With a little bit of work, the right system can help your practice stay focused while delivering better service.
Ryan Pinney, President of Insureio, joins us on this episode to talk about how new CRMs targeted specifically at insurance agents, advisors, and other professionals are changing the practice management landscape. A great CRM can save you from spending the bulk of your time managing client data rather than engaging with clients themselves.

Ryan talks about how some of the most successful agents have been adopting new technologies for the past decade, giving them a leg up. We discuss how the average age of agents in the insurance industry affects our willingness to integrate new technologies into our practices, and what to look for in a CRM if you’re new to the tech.

CRMs can help you maximize your sales time, keep up with clients, and prospect more effectively. Ryan describes several different CRMs and the rules-based software you can use to streamline your entire selling process. We also touch on why you must get a CRM that is explicitly secure enough for HIPAA guidelines.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Why many salespeople only spend 40% of their time selling (when they should be spending 70-90%).
  • How operational change has been slower to effect the sales cycle than other aspects of the business.
  • How agents or advisors can begin putting their existing business onto a CRM.
  • The pros and cons of cloud-based CRMs and hardware-based CRMs.
  • The essential security questions you must ask before choosing a CRM to ensure that clients’ data is as secure as possible.

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

On this episode of ShiftShapers, we are stepping out of the realm of employee benefits, insurance and financial planning to discuss the ultimate differentiator for all businesses – customer service. Peter Shankman is the author of a new book, Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.

As an international consultant, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, corporate speaker, founder of Help A Reporter Out and The Geek Factory, Peter knows how to create zombie loyalists and why they are key to your success. As parts of our business become more commoditized, Zombie Loyalists can be the secret weapon that will help to build and sustain your business.

We begin by asking Peter a question we never thought we would ask anyone on the podcast. Peter explains how to create zombie loyalist embryos and how to feed and care for them as they turn into single-minded advocates for your practice. We also chat about how you can lose their loyalty and what to do when that happens.

All of us at ShiftShapers thank you for you continued support. We hope you enjoy holidays with family, friends, great food, and this encore episode:

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Peter’s background as a serial entrepreneur.
  • Why he chose to use the word “Zombies.”
  • How a jacket and an airplane trip crystalized an idea.
  • How to incubate, care and feed your Zombies.
  • How to create small instances of personalized “Wow!”

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

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 you continued support. We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving 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.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

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It’s all about risk management! Learn how today’s successful plans incorporate clinical expertise, financial understanding, and cutting edge cost containment strategies to deliver outstanding year-over-year results.

Peter and Dr. Stacy Borans, provide the tools, techniques, strategies and tactics self-insured plans and their advisors need. The founders of Advanced Medical Strategies, they have over a decade of experience including independent medical reviews, claims cost containment, hospital negotiations, oncology services and claims repricing.

On this two-part series Peter and Stacy begin with a discussion of how the self-funded landscape has changed and what opportunities that provides for advisors – even those working in the smaller mid-market segment. We explore the high-level concepts and strategies that clients are finding successful and the concepts needed to have that initial and on-going self-insurance discussion with first-time self-insured groups.

Then we dig into a look at the biggest cost drivers: high-dollar claims, chronic disease and pharmacy spend. We also look to the future – a day when we will be doing more prospective than retrospective review, where predictive modeling will be far enough in front of potential claims so illness can be managed by looking out the windshield rather than viewed through the rear-view mirror. We also touch on the growing impact of reference-based pricing and the future of networks as we know them.

Join us on this second part of the conversation as we discuss how the fully insured vs. self-funded landscape is changing, as well as the essential concepts advisors need to understand in that arena. Don’t miss this opportunity to find out how you can deliver more value by bringing together clinical expertise, financial understanding, and cost containment.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Whether the fully insured vs. self-funded landscape is changing, and how.
  • What concepts advisors need to understand.
  • How a plan can handle high-dollar claims.
  • The impact of chronic disease.
  • How closely advisors should watch drug spend and what drives that component of claims costs.
  • How we can start looking out the windshield rather than out the rear view mirror.
  • How reference based pricing and narrow networks will impact claims.

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This Episode is Sponsored by:

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ShiftShapersCoverArt

It’s all about risk management! Learn how today’s successful plans incorporate clinical expertise, financial understanding, and cutting edge cost containment strategies to deliver outstanding year-over-year results.

Peter and Dr. Stacy Borans, provide the tools, techniques, strategies and tactics self-insured plans and their advisors need. The founders of Advanced Medical Strategies, they have over a decade of experience including independent medical reviews, claims cost containment, hospital negotiations, oncology services and claims repricing.

On this two-part series Peter and Stacy begin with a discussion of how the self-funded landscape has changed and what opportunities that provides for advisors – even those working in the smaller mid-market segment. We explore the high-level concepts and strategies that clients are finding successful and the concepts needed to have that initial and on-going self-insurance discussion with first-time self-insured groups.

Then we dig into a look at the biggest cost drivers: high-dollar claims, chronic disease and pharmacy spend. We also look to the future – a day when we will be doing more prospective than retrospective review, where predictive modeling will be far enough in front of potential claims so illness can be managed by looking out the windshield rather than viewed through the rear-view mirror. We also touch on the growing impact of reference-based pricing and the future of networks as we know them.

Join us on this conversation as we discuss how the fully insured vs. self-funded landscape is changing, as well as the essential concepts advisors need to understand in that arena. Don’t miss this opportunity to find out how you can deliver more value by bringing together clinical expertise, financial understanding, and cost containment.

Make sure to tune in next week for the second part of this insightful conversation!

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Whether the fully insured vs. self-funded landscape is changing, and how.
  • What concepts advisors need to understand.
  • How a plan can handle high-dollar claims.
  • The impact of chronic disease.
  • How closely advisors should watch drug spend and what drives that component of claims costs.
  • How we can start looking out the windshield rather than out the rear view mirror.
  • How reference based pricing and narrow networks will impact claims.

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Listen to the Full Interview:

 

This Episode is Sponsored by:

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Communication and consumerism tools are especially important in smaller groups that lack the resources of their larger counterparts. This presents a challenge for advisors and their clients.

Saravanan Chettiar, the founder of STRIVE Benefits, joins us on this week’s episodes to share his expertise on how new tools and technology help benefits advisors to deliver effective services in an easily scalable way.

It’s difficult for a benefits advisor to communicate with employees on an on-going basis because most advisors only have access to employees once or twice a year around open enrollment. This is compounded by an interesting phenomenon that occurs shortly after each and every open enrollment – regardless of client size or industry.

Saravanan describes how healthcare literacy in the new employee population is best achieved by utilizing technology platforms to deliver your message in a simple and compelling fashion. Join us as we learn what tools advisors should focus on for both small businesses and large groups and how to easily implement this new technology.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Whether small businesses need even more help than large groups.
  • What happens almost immediately after open enrollment.
  • What should advisors focus on with so much noise in this space.
  • Why mobile solutions are important for health care.
  • Why portable and carrier-agnostic tools are  important.
  • How we can combat the lack of health care literacy.

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Are non-insured benefits a tool to help combat commission compression and how can you integrate them into your practice?

Regulatory changes, complexities introduced by the Affordable Care Act, and challenges facing HR directors to maximize employee benefits while reducing costs provide opportunities for advisors to offer additional services to supplement diminished commissions.

Joel Ray, the chairman and CEO of New Benefits, joins us on this week’s podcast to share helpful information about what non-insured benefits are available and how advisors can incorporate them with their clients, and how to use them as a differentiator with prospects.

We begin the conversation with an overview and examples of non-insured benefits. Joel explains how non-insured benefits can be combined with traditional benefits to better serve clients and increase your bottom line. He believes advisors should start with the conversation. According to Joel, you can never have a bad conversation and this sets the stage to understand your client’s needs allowing you to guide them into the best solutions.

We explore the case for companies to view financial wellbeing as having a direct impact on employee productivity as well as mental and physical wellness. Finally, Joel provides his take on the growth potential of non-insured products. He lays out just how much he thinks non-insured products will become a stable part of the product offering companies are looking for in the future.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • The top four areas of client interest for non-insurance benefits.
  • How to define an aggregator.
  • Whether advisors should go direct to plans.
  • How advisors position non-insured benefits alongside their other offerings and services.
  • Why financial wellness is the new “master benefit”.

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If you are thinking about taking a more consultative approach and want a roadmap for how to get there, this episode is for you!

On this episode, we welcome Chad Schneider, Chief Sales Officer at Code SixFour, who has extensively studied practices around the country and has keen insights into how the most successful advisors are either hanging out “Consultant” shingles or are taking a more consultative approach to working with their prospects and clients.

We begin our conversation at the baseline level – asking Chad to explain what a consultant is and why not every advisor is a consultant today, even if they think they are.

He defines the four quadrants that advisors need to work in so that they can build a solid consulting process: discovery, analysis, solution design, and implementation. Chad also provides a checklist of six key areas that need to be addressed. We discuss some of the technology that advisors can bring into the process to help achieve client goals and create a “value add” for clients.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What a consultant is and why not every advisor is a consultant.
  • How to move toward a more consultative approach.
  • The four quadrants of consulting.
  • The six key areas consultants need to discuss.
  • The three “technology buckets” and why they matter.
  • Whether predictive modeling is in your clients’ future.

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