Return of Premium or Level Funded Premium Plans can greatly benefit organizations with below-average claims by rebating or crediting unused funds. Offering such a plan can broaden your portfolio of benefits products, helping you and your clients to remain competitive in an ever-tightening marketplace.

Important aspects of this type of plan:

  • It can be used with self funded plans, ASO plans, even with as few as ten participating employees.
  • It can be a very good option for businesses which do not incur many insurance claims.
  • Monthly payments stay the same (level).
  • If claims are less than the funded amount, employer can receive a rebate or credit

For more information on this and other innovative benefits programs, contact us.

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Video Marketing Strategies for Insurance Agents

  • Posted on March 14, 2017
  • by Admin

Using video as part of a well-rounded marketing strategy can help insurance agents be more successful for three reasons:

  • It is effective
  • It is consistent
  • It is inexpensive

Video marketing allows agents to record the perfect message to share with hundreds of leads and existing clients. It also removes message inconsistency. Not every insurance agent is the same. While one may deliver their message effortlessly, another may struggle to verbalize the benefits of buying insurance from their company. Video marketing messages do not suffer from such irregularity.

Video marketing does not require a complex setup or production crew either. Depending on the audience, insurance agents may be able to record videos from their smartphones. If the agent needs higher quality footage, they can buy a decent camera, tripod, and microphone for a couple hundred dollars. Below are some ideas for how insurance agents can use video marketing to improve their sales and lead generation.

Client Recommendations

Millennials rely on word of mouth and reviews more so than marketing messages. You can send them targeted emails, but a positive recommendation from a few clients will yield better results every time. These videos do not need to be too polished. In fact, the less scripted the testimonials seem, the more effective they will be. Ask the clients specific questions that address common concerns leads may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

While you can address some common questions in client testimonial videos, it is impossible to cover them all without appearing rehearsed. Agents should compile a list of questions clients and prospects ask on a regular basis. They can then make videos to address the questions. This can save agents time as well as provide a valuable service to leads and clients.

Still not convinced? Remember, if a client is asking an agent the question, they are likely asking Google as well. A video allows agents to control the message as well as reduce misinformation.

Record a Seminar

Preparing and presenting a seminar is a major investment. It only makes sense to preserve it for prospective and existing clients. It shows the company possesses professionalism and demonstrates their expertise in the industry. It can also boost a company’s exposure by posting the video to various social media sites.

To learn more ways insurance agents can market themselves to increase sales and leads, contact Chelten Benefits Group.

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Mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular within the insurance industry. This is because customers want to be able to access information about their policy at any time from any device. The auto insurance industry is a classic example of this practice. This is in large part because over 70% of individuals shopping for auto insurance start their search online.

As more features go digital, many insurance agents are questioning their place in the process. They wonder if they are truly necessary when the customer is shopping and finding answers to their questions online. Thankfully, the answer is yes, insurance agents are a vital component of the insurance industry. Below are a few reasons why insurance agents do not need to fear replacement by technology anytime soon.

People Still Make Their Final Purchases Through an Agent

While they start their search online, the vast majority of customers either meet with an agent in person or call them over the phone to finalize and purchase their policy. Consumers still trust other humans over technology, especially when it comes to discussing the particulars of their policy.

Digitization Cannot Replace All Elements

Some may think of insurance as a commodity, but the truth is it is difficult to set up without proper guidance. Determining how much coverage an individual needs, what type of coverage is best for them, deductibles, and so on is enough to make some consumer’s head’s spin. Add in the potential to bundle certain coverages as well as the laws that vary from state-to-state and most customers are ready to hand off their policy search to a qualified agent.

While most policy searches start online, they end with an agent. An agent who knows how the customer uses the online tools available to them can save time and have an advantage over those who do not. Agents can also take steps to make themselves more available online either through chat programs or making themselves accessible via email. Knowing what customers need and how to find it can help agents succeed in an increasingly digital industry. To learn more about providing better service to clients to increase sales and leads, contact Chelten Benefits Group.

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Fewer employees opted to register for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) in the 2017 enrollment cycle. The most likely culprit is an increase in cost for HDHPs, which many employers are transferring to employees. Many HDHPs offer substantial savings for employers but come with deductibles that soar beyond $5000.

More Employers Offer HDHPs; Fewer Employees Take Them up on It

The 2017 benefit year saw a 12% increase in family premium costs for HDHPs. While 56% of surveyed employers offer HDHPs, up from 52% last year, only 36% of individuals signed up for an HDHP. This is a five percent decrease from the previous year. The driving force behind this decrease is families in search of affordable benefits.

The basic set up of an HDHP is a low premium with a high deductible. This type of health plan appeals to entry-level, young, single adults without children who are in good health. This is because they often cannot afford more traditional HMOs or PPOs and have fewer health care needs than their more senior coworkers who have families.

The recent increase in HDHP premiums removed some of the cost-savings appeal. Deductibles are increasing for PPOs as well. As a result, many employees do not see a significant difference between the two. The out-of-pocket cost differential is rapidly shrinking and employers are struggling to keep up with their employees’ need.

Insurance to Fill in the Gaps

This quandary poses a significant opportunity to benefit brokers. Agents can present GAP insurance solutions as a way for employers to make HDHPs affordable for their employees while keeping costs down for themselves. GAP insurance, as the name implies, fills in the gaps of HDHPs and can help employees pay exorbitant deductibles.

However, benefit brokers will have their work cut out for them. Many employees do not understand the benefits their employer offers. Brokers will have to use effective communication methods to show the true value of GAP insurance plans. To learn more about selling GAP insurance, contact Chelten Benefits.

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Offering Better Alternatives to HDHPs

  • Posted on February 16, 2017
  • by Admin

More expensive and substantial plans can actually reduce your clients long-term costs and increase employee plan satisfaction, according to a wealth of recent studies and surveys. The National Business group found that nearly two thirds of large employers believe HDHPs are one of the most effective ways to reduce benefits costs. Another study by the National Bureau of Economic Research corroborates this assertion, specifically identifying employer spending decreases of 10-15% in the areas of preventive, emergency, outpatient, and pharmaceutical care. This all makes sense as HDHPs leverage higher deductibles – transferring more expenses from employer to employee. Another recent study shows that by 2020, HDHP implementation will have tripled in just 7 years, becoming available through 40% of employers.

But this isn’t the whole story. Higher deductibles logically and experientially discourage plan usage and overall healthcare engagement, dramatically increasing the likelihood of increasingly severe health concerns down the road. A failure to capitalize on inexpensive preventive care frequently causes health issues to exacerbate, inflating long-term costs for employer and employee alike. A survey by Families USA determined approximately 30% of those covered by employer-provided benefits with deductibles upward of $1,500 per individual avoided medical care due to unaffordable out-of-pocket expenses. Other studies, including one by the Commonwealth Fund, reached the same conclusion.

Beyond an aversion to obtaining care, HDHP enrollees are often less engaged in their healthcare plans, leading to a failure to capitalize on the limited but valuable services to which they are entitled at little or no personal expense. Reduced price-consciousness and a lack of plan knowledge both exacerbate the other shortcomings of the High Deductible Health Plan. To learn more about growing your book of business and increasing client satisfaction with superior alternatives to HDHPs, contact Chelten Benefits Group.

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Watch our 8-minute on-demand webinar to learn more about opportunities to increase commissions with your current clients and build relationships with new clients – not from a bottom-up approach, but parachuting in from the top with high-quality referrals and high-value, low-risk opportunities. Then schedule an appointment with us to get started!

Click here to setup a one-on-one call with Dick Chelten.

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Marketing GAP Insurance to Reticent Clients

  • Posted on February 7, 2017
  • by Admin

There is no denying the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is uncertain. While the new administration is sorting out the details, however, employers and employees must carry on with their existing insurance. Most employers offer high deductible health plans (HDHPs), but the policies are often not comprehensive. With more employees lacking full coverage, employers are looking for solutions. Group Supplemental Health plans, also called GAP insurance, may be the answer to their concerns.

Explain the Benefits of GAP Insurance

Employers may be reluctant to invest in additional insurance. They have concerns over ACA compliance and well as rising costs. However, GAP plans are excepted benefits. This means they operate outside of the purview of the Affordable Care Act. They function as supplemental benefits in addition to an HDHP. Depending on which strategy the employer and employees take, combining GAP plans with a Bronze level HDHP can save money and provide better coverage.

GAP Strategies

No two clients are the same, and they will want options when it comes to their health insurance benefits. Pairing the following GAP insurance plans with an HDHP can help cover deductibles, office visits, prescription copays, and more. Employers can save up to $1000 per employee per year. This also benefits agents as GAP commissions tend to be much higher than major medical commissions.

  • Deductible GAP. The employee pays an upfront deductible then the Gap plan covers the rest. Employers can choose the deductible amount as well as choose from three levels of coverage.
  • First Dollar GAP. This plan has inpatient and outpatient benefits that pay up to $6500 and $2500 respectively. This GAP plan covers expenses and offers two levels of coverage.
  • Full GAP. Like the First Dollar GAP plan, Full GAP offers inpatient and outpatient benefits. However, this plan pays up to $6500 for both services. This plan also has two levels of coverage.

The benefits of promoting GAP plans to clients are obvious. The client can save a substantial amount of money while the agent can earn better commissions. Linking a Bronze HDHP with GAP insurance can also help employees achieve affordable and comprehensive medical coverage. To learn more about selling GAP insurance, contact Chelten Benefits.

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Many companies end up overpaying their workers’ compensation premiums by hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. This is most often due to a misclassification of company type and employee responsibilities. Misclassification can cause a number of issues beyond overpayment. Some examples include insurance premiums spiraling out of control or contractors paying too much in workers’ comp premiums for employees who do not work on site.

One study based out of Asheville, NC discovered 70 percent of employers overpay their workers’ comp premiums. This is why it is vital for companies to work with insurance brokers to guarantee their business has the proper classification code. It may be tempting for business owners to avoid using a broker in an attempt to save money, but their lack of classification coding expertise can be expensive and hurt their bottom line.

This issue tends to be a bigger problem for small companies that require less than $500,000 in premiums. This is because they often lack alternate funding plans for workers’ comp that large businesses can afford to retain. To put it in perspective, premium rates vary by job type and work environment. Coverage for an office secretary may be as low as $0.30 per every $100 whereas a roofer can be 100 times that amount at $30 per $100 of compensation. Workers’ comp accounts for almost 1/3 of the money businesses spend on insurance, so proper coding is vital.

Insurance agents can best help their clients stabilize workers’ comp premiums by becoming Stryde representatives. Stryde agents can provide a variety of services including workers’ comp audits, specialized tax incentives and more. To learn more about how Stryde’s services benefit insurance agents, contact Chelten Benefits.

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Business owners are often looking for ways to save money to improve their bottom line. However, many of these efforts focus on salaries, personnel, and other areas that can hurt a business if cut. For example, reducing personnel can have a deleterious effect on customer service. Dissatisfied customers will look to competitors for a better experience.  So what can insurance agents do to help their business clients improve their bottom line without damaging morale or customer relationships?

Reviewing Workers’ Compensation Premiums

A major area where businesses can recoup expenses is by reviewing their workers’ compensation premiums. Audits can reveal clerical errors or misclassifications that can cost businesses thousands of dollars. Industrial classification and experience modification calculations can help companies determine if their workers’ compensation premiums are in line with the number of individuals they employ and the level of loss they typically experience.

Revealing these mistakes can allow employers to recoup partial refunds and save money in the subsequent years. Providing tangible solutions that not only solve problems but also improve finances can help agents build leads.

Insurance agents can offer this type of audit service to their clients by becoming a Stryde agent. Stryde agents have access to expense recovery solutions and services. One of Stryde’s many services is auditing workers’ compensation premiums. Stryde Solutions can help unearth tax credits and other ways to recover overpaid expenses as well. To learn more about becoming a Stryde agent to help your clients recover expenses, contact us.

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Cadillac Tax Still 3 Years Out, but Impact Already Here

  • Posted on December 19, 2016
  • by Admin

shutterstock_174966584 - CopyAs the Cadillac tax draws closer to assessment, many businesses are growing more cautious regarding employee HSA contributions. Since 2014, HSA enrollment has increased 10.7%, according to a survey data from United Benefit Advisors. This large-scale survey of employer-sponsored health plans found that overall enrollment in HSAs is increasing, while employer contributions are not.

The Cadillac tax comes into effect January 1, 2020, but it’s already demonstrating significant influence on employee benefits planning – particularly with regard to HSA. Looking at HSA performance by industry, the UBA survey finds:

  • Government employers offer the most generous contributions at an average $834 for singles and $1,636 for families.
  • Families and individuals in the hospitality and foodservice industries received less than $200 in employer contributions.
  • While most industries have seen steady growth in HSA enrollment, the utilities sector not only has the lowest enrollment at 3.2%, but is also the only industry to see a decline in enrollment from three years ago.

To learn more about benefits solutions for your clients, contact us.

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