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With Flexident1, Gary Whiddon builds group dental insurance plans that are useful to employers, offer great benefits, and get revenue streams flowing.
The president and managing member of California-based American Alliance Insurance Brokers, LLC, Whiddon says flexibility is the main attraction of the dental insurance plan for employer groups of 2 to 99.
“That is huge,” he says. “It allows for great creativity.”
Groups of two to four employees can choose from six standard plans. Groups with five or more can tailor a plan by selecting from a variety of benefit options, among them frequency limits, waiting periods and calendar-year maximums of up to $3,000.
“What I really like is the ability of five of more employees to customize plans, and to offer up to a triple selection of plans,” states Whiddon. “That gives the employee different buying levels, so they can pick the plan that they want.”
Whiddon recently shared the Flexident plan details of two of his employer groups:
At each of these sales appointments, Whiddon presented a “clone” of a plan design, “a framework including three plans that historically have met everybody’s needs,” he says. “If you’re selling the same benefits generally, or if you feel that you have a design that works, you end up cloning it. I’m able to generate a quote for (another company),” he explained. “When I clone it, it makes it very quick to be able to provide a quote. But if they want to tweak something—they want to add orthodontia, or veneers—we can tweak it right on the spot and give them an answer.”
From the framework, with or without the tweaks, he provided quotes to the Florida and California clients. “It’s easy to improve the benefits of whatever another carrier has,” he says. “Hopefully you are at a rate that is equal or below whatever the carrier has. That will allow that company to make a switch.”
Both businesses picked two PPO plans with generous in-network benefits, plus one indemnity plan “in case someone’s dentist is not on the plan,” Whiddon explains. “You can make the out-of-network benefits very rich. Again, flexibility in the situation is key.”
Both selected lifetime deductibles over calendar year deductibles. The California firm went with a $50 lifetime deductible, while the Florida client selected a $75 amount. “What I use as a selling point for that is that it rewards the employees,” says Whiddon. “It also solidifies the broker’s position in maintaining the customer. It is difficult for another agent to custom-design a product the way we do at IHC. We deliberate try to design a product that other products cannot compete with.” While both companies also considered copay plan discounts, they saw lifetime deductibles as more attractive options.
Both chose a one-year rate guarantee vs. two-year—because increases after two years are tougher to deal with than increases after one year. “Having the choice allows the agent to be different and ‘better,’ Whiddon says.
Recently, Whiddon presented his clone to a law firm with 20-plus employees. The firm has a health plan for which it pays 100 percent of employee and dependent premiums. However, since it may no longer be able to cover premiums at that rate, it’s considering adding Flexident to its benefits package to cushion the blow of the increase of the employees’ premium portion. “I say, ‘If now you have to ask employees to pay a portion of the health insurance plan, and if you were to offer a dental plan, you’re giving them something in exchange for them paying for something,’” Whiddon explains. “With Flexident, we can offer a more complete package. And that works out really, really well.”
About The IHC Group
The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. Members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC), American Independence Corp. (NASDAQ: AMIC), Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. (An A++ rating from A.M. Best is its highest rating.) Collectively, the companies in The IHC Group provide insurance coverage to more than one million individuals and groups. For more information about The IHC Group, visit www.ihcgroup.com.
IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.
About IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc. IHC Specialty Benefits, doing business as Health eDeals Insurance Solutions is a full-service marketing and distribution
company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Health eDeals markets products through general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers. For more information about Health eDeals visit http://www.HealtheDeals.com
THIS PLAN DOES NOT MEET MINIMAL ESSENTIAL COVERAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR PEDIATRIC DENTAL SERVICES AS PART OF THE ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) PROVISIONS.