Hospital Cash: Help Your Clients Relieve Out-of-Pocket Burdens

Even as a P&C broker, you can help your customers relieve the pain of out-of-pocket medical costs

 

 

The DBL Center is always on the lookout for creative tools to help you address your clients’ pain points when it comes to essential insurance coverage. While we specialize in DBL coverage and other temporary disability benefits, we know that many of our brokers also deal with major medical.

Even if you don’t, P&C brokers are in a unique position to help their clients address the painful medical renewals they face every year, as coverage levels decrease and premiums rise. In fact, the solution may be easier than you think, and it’s right in the wheelhouse of P&C brokers.

DBL Center President and CEO Michael S. Cohen sat down with Simon Klarides, Director of Business Development at ShelterPoint Life1 to answer our questions on how ShelterPoint Life’s recently updated Hospital Cash program fits in the picture – and to help you sell this commissionable coverage.

Michael S. Cohen: Simon, why do you think Hospital Cash indemnity insurance is a good option?

Simon Klarides: Let’s face it: Looks like high deductible medical plans are here to stay and they are placing more and more of a financial burden on the employees. Although Supplemental Medical Gap policies are not available as a solution in New York, simple, indemnity-based Hospital Cash insurance may present an option. In fact, we’ve configured our Hospital Cash2 product so that you don’t have to go through the full, traditional underwriting process: an alternative, much more streamlined way to get it is by selling it with DBL.

That sounds intriguing, but before we go into those mechanics, can you explain what exactly Hospital Cash indemnity insurance is?

Sure. Hospital Cash pays a fixed amount per day while confined to the hospital for at least 24 hours. This helps with expenses that result– such as copays and deductibles. I remember a Business Insurance article stating that 43 percent of adults said their deductible is difficult or impossible to afford.3

Anyway, our Hospital Cash benefits are paid for an unlimited continuous number of days per hospital stay, and they are paid independently from any other insurance. The nice thing is that benefits are paid directly to covered individuals and can be used however they choose, whether to help with medical bills or everyday expenses like groceries or the phone bill. And what’s even better – our plans cover not only the employee but the whole family!

So how much does Hospital Cash indemnity insurance pay?

New York State regulates the maximum daily benefit by region. The maximum for NY metro areas is $240 per day and $165 per day everywhere else in New York.4 As I mentioned before, there’s no cap for the number of continuous days per hospital stay. Skilled Nursing Facility stays are covered at the same benefit level but are limited to a maximum of 5 consecutive days.

Let’s circle back to how Hospital Cash indemnity insurance can be sold by brokers and in conjunction with DBL. Can you explain, Simon?

Yes! The easiest way of giving clients this coverage is by getting it at time of DBL application. We’ve created a simplified version as part of our BaseLine suite of products that is issued on a non-roster basis with flat per-capita rates – just by checking a box. This means, no enrollments are required while all active employees and their family members are automatically covered.

While Hospital Cash may certainly benefit groups regardless of how robust their medical coverage is, we typically see the sweet spot for this coverage with micro groups that have minimal medical coverage with high deductibles, if any coverage at all. Many times, these types of groups don’t have a benefit broker at all and look to their business insurance broker for guidance. That’s where you can differentiate your approach as a P&C broker to be more consultative and provide extra value to your clients, all while making more commission.

That’s very insightful. Now, for brokers who are looking to sell Hospital Cash, what if their clients already have DBL, whether through ShelterPoint or not?

The BaseLine version of Hospital Cash can be added at time of DBL renewal for existing ShelterPoint customers, and I know your team, Mike, can help with that. For groups with DBL elsewhere or groups that want customized benefits and riders, we still offer Hospital Cash on a traditionally underwritten basis.

Hospital Cash indemnity insurance will help differentiate yourself from other brokers. Call us here at The DBL Center to add this coverage for your existing clients or chat with us about options how to assure that this gets added to your future cases.

Learn more about ShelterPoint Life’s Hospital Cash here.

Reference Notes:
1 ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company, a NY-domiciled insurance carrier with principal office in Garden City, NY
2 BaseLine version of Hospital Cash policy available in NY only and underwritten by: ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company, Form# SPL GHC115 P NY. The policy described in this post provides limited hospital cash benefits only. It does not provide basic hospital, basic medical or major medical insurance as defined by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Lack of major medical coverage (or other minimum essential coverage) may result in an additional payment with your taxes. Policy provisions, conditions, and exclusions apply. Download this BaseLine Hospital Cash brochure for more information on the BaseLine (non-roster) version. Download this brochure for details and state availability of the FlexLine (traditionally underwritten) Hospital Cash version; this version is available in and underwritten by ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company in NY (SPL GHC115 P NY) and MI; ShelterPoint Insurance Company (licensed in 48 jurisdictions, not including NY) in all other available states outside NY and MI.
3 Livingston, Shelby. Business Insurance 11/25/15 and Commonwealth Fund & Kaiser Foundation, 2017
4 Metro New York area: Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Manhattan, Nassau, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. All other New York counties are considered non-Metro.

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3 Ways DBL Insurance Opens Doors for P&C Brokers

New York business owners need more than just DBL insurance coverage

The DBL insurance industry recently experienced a shake-up when New York State passed a law requiring mandatory Paid Family Leave coverage, to be written as a rider to NYS DBL policies. Several carriers exited the DBL insurance market because they didn’t want to write PFL riders, which left many brokers looking to replace their DBL policies.

Brokers had two choices: Lose the DBL business or leave their existing carriers to write DBL insurance policies elsewhere. DBL Center brokers who relied on DBL Center as their back-office staff were able to move those DBL policies with ease, impress their customers, and strengthen their position in the marketplace.

DBL Policies Open Doors

These brokers found that DBL insurance policies open doors to more business. This has always been true, but it’s even more relevant now, in 2018, when fewer carriers are writing DBL insurance coverage.

If you are the broker who can write these policies for New York State business owners, provide exemplary service, and build trust with your customers, they will come to you for all their insurance needs.

For P&C brokers, DBL insurance can act as your foot in the door, giving you the chance to write high-commission policies like home, auto or even umbrella policies for business owners and their employees.

Let’s look at some of the opportunities available to P&C brokers to expand their book of business with new and existing DBL insurance customers.

1. Smart business owners will consider expanding employee benefits packages with ancillary lines of coverage.

We’ve talked in-depth about enriching DBL coverage in light of the new PFL law. But business owners can also improve employee retention with ancillary benefits such as vision, dental, and life insurance.

The DBL Center can provide a discounted benefits package when you bundle these ancillary lines with an enriched DBL package, allowing you to provide your customers with even more value.

2. Business owners will rely on someone they can trust to write their personal insurance policies.

In addition to business insurance and employee benefits, business owners also need insurance for their personal assets. As an insurance broker, you know that many business owners possess one or more of the following: high-value homes, vacation homes, automobiles, recreational vehicles, or boats.

Once you’ve established trust as their broker of choice for mandatory DBL insurance or enriched DBL coverage, it’s easy to ask your business customers if they’d like a quote on an umbrella policy to cover their home/auto and other possessions requiring insurance. They might also consider purchasing life insurance through your brokerage.

Most consumers understand that when they do business through one company, they can get the best deals and preferred service as a loyal customer. It’s your job, as their broker, to remind them about your other insurance lines and the savings you can offer them. A new sale and a large commission check could be just that easy.

3. Business owners may refer their employees to you for their personal insurance coverage.

Not only do business owners have cars, homes, and boats to insure, so do many of their employees. What if you could earn referrals from your biggest accounts, just by providing excellent service and low rates to the owner of the company? You can increase your commission checks by writing homeowners’ insurance, auto insurance, umbrella policies, renters’ insurance, or whole- or term-life insurance policies.

More Than Just DBL Insurance

In New York, DBL Center specializes in DBL, PFL and ancillary benefits. We couldn’t tell you how to sell your P&C lines or where to go for the best rates.

But we can remind you that almost every business owner needs DBL coverage. And with our back-office staff providing white-glove service, as well as our new Net Revenue Tracker app giving you fast, convenient access to all your accounts, we make it easy for you to sell DBL and maintain your DBL accounts.

By doing so, the DBL Center opens doors for you to expand your book of business with the lines that you know best such as health, life, home and auto insurance and umbrella policies.

Need more information about DBL and PFL? Need tips on marketing DBL insurance coverage? We are here to help. Give us a call at (631) 293.5100 or get a quick quote now.


New Broker? Consider Using an Insurance Wholesaler

Are you a new insurance broker? Have you been licensed as a broker for some time, but have recently fled health insurance sales due to dwindling commissions and all the red tape forced by Obamacare?

Whether you’re new to the industry or simply new to Property & Casualty insurance sales for businesses, it might make sense to purchase policies through an insurance wholesaler. In today’s highly competitive industry, when top insurance agents are leaving the field—due to retirement, career burn out, or to change careers—a new broker with the right guidance and relationships can experience unprecedented success. The DBL Center team is here to help new brokers.

Let’s look at some reasons to choose an insurance wholesaler as you begin to grow your book of business in this industry.

1. An insurance wholesaler is willing to provide guidance and mentorship.

The BizzGrizz blog recently featured the top three reasons why young insurance agents fail. Number one on the list? “Lack of quality training/education.”

Organizations and schools exist that provide training to young agents. Quality publications like LifeHealthPro offer hundreds of articles and resources to guide those new to the industry, as well as veterans looking for new ideas and support.

But a new agent can also find the necessary mentorship through an insurance wholesaler. Not only does the DBL Center Ltd. provide training upon request, we are always ready and willing to guide new brokers to success. After all, when our brokers produce, we grow, too. Your success is our success.

2. The first few years as an agent can be challenging and your insurance wholesaler is here to help.

Many brokers enter the industry seeking fast and furious financial success. When it doesn’t come, they might get burnt out and seek a new career. From guiding new brokers through the obvious up-sells of ancillary benefits, Group Life / AD&D and even 401K programs, to connecting you with the lowest premiums and most robust policies for your customers by bundling insurance products, a savvy insurance wholesaler can help new P&C, as well as new Life and Health brokers, achieve success early in their career and continue to grow.

The DBL Center Ltd. is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and has decades of experience in the insurance industry. We can—and will—show you how to build relationships, and when you sell your products through us, we provide your customers with the best white-label service, so they will associate that white glove service with your name and your agency.

3. Insurance wholesalers provide the technology-based service you expect.

As insurance brokers leave the industry faster than they come in, insurance wholesalers, carriers, and brokerages, alike, face unique recruiting challenges. Millennials and members of Gen Z preparing to enter the work force are hard-working, tech-savvy, and demanding when it comes to having workplace flexibility and the technology tools to do their jobs wherever they might be.

With the ability to bind DBL coverage in New York for under 50 lives quickly and easily, online, as well as online access to a number of our carriers, The DBL Center offers the technology young insurance brokers expect, which may not always be available through other channels.

Let The DBL Center Help You Take Advantage of Opportunities in P&C Insurance

Twenty-five percent of P&C brokers expect to retire by 2018, according to a study by McKinsey and Co. This leaves an enormous gap to be filled by bright, young talent.

If you’re a new broker, stick with it. Opportunities abound. The DBL Center Ltd. can help guide you toward success.


Do Your Clients Need Life Insurance?

Most people need life insurance. But the reasons may not be what you’d expect.

The sales tactics for life insurance are familiar, and designed to tug at the prospective client’s heartstrings:

What would happen to your family if you were to pass on suddenly? Would they lose their home? Would your children be able to attend college as you had always planned? Would your significant other be stuck with a mortgage he or she can’t afford to pay?Life-Insurance

While these reasons for investing in Group Life / AD&D are compelling—and effective to sell voluntary or employer-funded life insurance policies—it’s also worth understanding some the specific reasons people should invest in life insurance.

LifeHealthPro Daily recently released a report of six problems solved by life insurance. Let’s consider some of these problems and solutions as they relate to Group Life /AD&D coverage for the average employee.

1. Not enough liquid cash to cover death expenses.
From the cost of a coffin, burial, attorney fees, and even any memorial services planned, survivors rarely have liquid cash available to coverage expenses associated with the death of a loved one. Having even a modest life insurance policy can give survivors peace-of-mind that their loved one will have the funeral they desired, which can also help loved ones mourn in an effective way.

Life insurance policies pay quickly following death of the policyholder, providing liquid cash when it’s most needed. If the deceased was the primary breadwinner, a life insurance policy can help the family pay upcoming bills on time and maintain their lifestyle, further contributing to their peace-of-mind during a difficult time.

This is, undoubtedly, the most common reason for most workers to invest in life insurance coverage.

2. The need for asset stabilization, especially in regard to real estate.
If property passes hands from one generation to another, associated taxes can often cause undue financial burden on surviving loved ones. Life insurance can help cover these costs.

When a family home changes hands, the survivor may not be able to afford the taxes or insurance on the property, which may result in a forced sale or even foreclosure of the property. A life insurance policy designed to cover these expenses may help a home remain within a family even after the death of the original owner.

3. Transfer of wealth costs.
When cash or real estate transfers hands following the death of the original owner, the transfer of wealth often comes with estate taxes, inheritance taxes, legal, and administrative fees.

Because life insurance is tax-free for the beneficiary, a life insurance policy can help reduce the financial burden of an inheritance.

If you’re already the trusted source for mandatory disability benefits, worker’s compensation coverage, and other benefits as the P&C broker for an organization, it makes sense to expand your book of business by offering Group Life / AD&D coverage.

The DBL Center Ltd. has specialists on hand to help you get started right away. Contact us about adding life insurance to your offerings today.