BenefitsPRO Expo Preview: Do more than just sell insurance

With emerging healthcare strategies becoming more mainstream, employers are demanding more from brokers/advisors, and it’s up to us to rise to those expectations.

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An HR director once told me, “All brokers are the same. They all sell the same operators and policies, so it really doesn’t matter which one you choose.”

My younger self would have passionately challenged her with numerous examples of why she was wrong, but I just kept quiet because there was an element of truth in her words. To this day I remember them as a reminder to do more.

Over the past few years, I have watched our customers’ needs evolve. With emerging healthcare strategies becoming more mainstream, employers are demanding more from brokers/advisors, and it’s up to us to rise to those expectations.

Be sure to check out Josh Butler’s educational session “Do More Than Just Sell Health Insurance” at the BenefitsPRO Broker Expo on May 9 at 3:05 p.m.

Risk management is a key component of health care and benefits that is often overlooked by advisors. Helping organizations identify potential risks and then outline strategies to mitigate them is quickly becoming a requirement in broker-employer relationships. Risk management involves analyzing health care cost and utilization data, identifying high-risk groups or subclasses of employees, and developing targeted interventions not only to reduce costs but also to improve health outcomes.

Counselors should use the recent passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act to access claims and utilization data. I know that brokers in many states have historically been prevented from getting this kind of information, but now the CAA prohibits gag clauses on price and quality data and limits the types of agreements that plans and issuers can enter into with providers, TPAs ​​and others.

Plans must now certify that they have not entered into agreements that prohibit plan sponsors from receiving cost and quality data. This is an opportunity to do more! But plan and usage data is worthless if you can’t use it to influence the final price you pay. That’s why we’re working to create our own health plans as a way to do more. These customized health plans are based on direct-to-provider agreements that we have negotiated on behalf of our clients. We have a direct impact on the unit cost of care and reduce the actual cost of providing that care.

Risk management is about finding ways to reduce the cost of care, but also about building funds that give plan sponsors the flexibility and freedom to pursue strategies that reduce those costs. We do this through highly customized self-funded plans administered by independent providers who are like-minded and philosophically aligned with our mission.

As we reduce what self-funded employers pay for real care, we pour much of that savings back into the plans we design. We’ve standardized these strategies across our plans and offer plan members valuable benefits like $0 deductibles and $0 copays for literally thousands of medical services and generic drugs.

Related: 10 Sales Steps to Go from Mediocrity to Industry MVP

Other vehicles also appear quickly. We help even small employers discover new ways to use strategies like direct contracting and custom plan design. We’ve never had more opportunities to impact organizations than we do today. This is our chance to do much more than just sell insurance. I hope you will attend my lecture at the upcoming BenefitsPRO Broker Expo in Atlanta as we explore how to do more for our clients and prospects.

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