Carrier – Allstate Benefits

Are you looking to get a quote for a group?

Allstate Benefits’ group major medical solution allows you to fund your health benefits plan based on your company’s own estimated healthcare costs.

Interested in other Carrier Product Update Videos? See all videos here.

Jason Powers: I’m Jason Powers, and I’m joined by Jack Stevens, assistant vice president at Allstate Benefits. We do have a couple of others from Allstate here today.

Jack Stephens: We brought the whole team.

Jason Powers: Brought the whole team. But just you and I are going to go through our carrier product updates. You are no stranger to our studio. This is a [inaudible]-

Jack Stephens: Brand-new studio.

Jason Powers: And I got to point out that we did move it down the hall a little bit. But, this is something new for us. This is our Q4 kickoff summit. When I asked, Jack, there was no doubt you guys were going to be here.

Jack Stephens: Of course.

Jason Powers: So, I appreciate the partnership with Allstate, I appreciate you guys making the time to come out here and share the Allstate story with brokers out there who are familiar with Allstate. But I still talk to brokers who say-

Jack Stephens: I didn’t know they did health.

Jason Powers: Nat Gen? No, no, no, it’s not Nat Gen. So, we’ll dive right into it with your update here.

Jack Stephens: Yeah. And it’s funny you mentioned that. Because the ongoing joke in my office is, it used to be with National General, everybody was, they would mistake us for. “Was that the little guy from the commercial?” And the answer of course was no. But that conversation has now sort of evolved to, “I didn’t know Allstate good health.” And so, we still kind of are having the same conversation, but it’s a much easier conversation with the Allstate name. 

The last year, when we were in here last year, we were just about to transition. And so, we’ve got a full year of transition under our belt. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the name recognition piece of it. I didn’t think it would carry as much weight as it has. Especially in our midmarket, our large group space, where if you’re sitting at a table, a lot of times you need to be a certain name, or it carries a lot more weight on this larger groups. So, it’s been a great transition. We’ll jump into all of it.

Jason Powers: That’s great. Yeah, so let’s walk through what we’re going to be talking about today here with Allstate.

Jack Stephens: Yeah. So, I’ve got a little bit of an agenda here, and I’ll tell everybody who’s tuned in. The themes that you’ll pick up here… We’ll talk through a couple different things. But one, I want to introduce the Allstate rebrand for those who maybe aren’t familiar. Because I just want to make sure that it’s out there. And two, we’ll talk through some product updates, some product changes, and then our process, both on the quoting and on the RFP side. So, I’ve got a little bit of an agenda. Jason and I are kind of cut from the same cloth, where it’s hard for me to always hold to that. But, I will do my best.

So, the Allstate transition, of course, was first, as we mentioned at the top. That, we were rebranded as Allstate Health and Benefits, or Allstate Benefits August of last year. So, we’ve had just a full year underneath that. Our short-term team, if any of you have worked with, they’re still carrying the matching name. Some of the med supps teams are carrying that matching [00:03:00] name. They’re being rebranded at the end of this month.

Jason Powers: Okay.

Jack Stephens: So, the easiest way for those who might be new with Allstate, or might be new with the Level funded approach, the easiest way that I can break it down, or the simplest way, is Allstate is now the reinsurance carrier. We still plug and play any number of networks, we’ve got 15, 20 different networks that we’ll talk through. And Cigna’s always our PBM. But that’s kind of the hierarchy that we’ve got, is Allstate does the reinsurance, plug-and-play network, Cigna’s always the PBM.

From an offering standpoint, the name recognition for Allstate, if you were watching Monday Night Football, half of the sponsorship felt like it was tied to Allstate. Same with college football. So again, it’s kind of helped push that forward facing for the age of the broker community. Probably the biggest update too was which… most groups it’s not going to impact a ton, but the A.M. Best rating jumping to Na+ was great.

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Jack Stephens: We’re licensed in 49 states, our level funded product is available in 49 states. And I think that the stat’s crazy. I think it’s one in four, one in five people in America have some sort of Allstate policy.

Jason Powers: Wow. Definitely a saturation in the market with the Allstate brand.

Jack Stephens: Right. Yep. So, they’ve done a lot of heavy lifting in the last few years, 10, 15 years, just getting that name recognition out there, either through Mayhem, or through the commercials, or through the branding. So, the good part of that is I’m just hopeful for us that translates, and it has so far, to the health side of the house.

Jason Powers: Yeah. And so, with the new branding comes a new value prop.

Jack Stephens: Yep. Yeah. Our value prop is all based off what we call the circle of protection. Coincidentally enough there’s a circle up there. So, the circle of protection for us is just getting the members who enroll with our products, or the agents and brokers who sell them, getting you as many irons in the fire as we can. That’s step one, is you have to expand your distribution. And the distribution side of it for us is now health, ancillary, P&C, of course, pet insurance, identity protection. So, they’ve got everything, from a distribution standpoint, from a product standpoint.

What I like about it is, especially for us on the health and benefits side, is a lot of it comes down to our service too. I haven’t always wanted us to maybe transition into a BUCA. I like a lot of what, as some of our moxie has gotten us to where we’re at now on the sales side, and a lot of that hinges on service. Because with the Nat Gen name, you had to be really sharp with service, but it was harder just to get shown on RFPs, it was harder to get shown and sold. So for us, bringing that service aspect to it too, that’s always been our MO. The agents and brokers that we’re fortunate enough to work with, they’re the engine for us, so we treat them as such. That has never changed, and I’m happy to see that that hasn’t changed so far.

Jason Powers: That’s great. So you mentioned product, right? The one we’re here to talk about today… And I don’t mean to take away from the idea that you guys have ancillary products and ancillary partnerships. But, the focus and core, today we’re talking about the medical.

Jack Stephens: Right.

Jason Powers: Talk us through… We quote Allstate on, I would say, nearly if not all opportunities, we’re quoting Allstate.

Jack Stephens: Yeah. And that’s good, and hopefully it stays that way. I’ll make sure that it stays that way. If it doesn’t, I’ll yell at Hudson.

Jason Powers: Yeah. We’ll just blame you.

Jack Stephens: Yeah, so my team handles two to 50 year old, to start off with. Emphasis on the number of enrolled. If you have a 100 life case and 10 enroll, it’s a 10 life case for me.

Jason Powers: [inaudible].

Jack Stephens: And then Pat Anderson is our midmarket rep, he handles the 51 plus enrolled space. So product wise, in that true small term space, one of the things that we’ve always been known for is our flexibility. So, most of the options that we’ve got out there are à la cart, to an extent, where we can change deductibles, we can change coinsurance amounts, we can change out-of-pocket amounts. We can change co-pay amounts. All of that stuff from an offering standpoint is interchangeable. On one proposal we can show you full network co-pay, full network HSA, limited network co-pay, limited network HSA, reference-based pricing. 

All of that is in play for us. So, product for us, what we try to do now… I joke, I think the number is 90 or 85,000 plan combinations. Why get rid of the carrier? You end up showing the same 12 or 15. But, for the agent and broker community, it gives you a chance to plug and play, and have [00:07:30] that flexibility, and to use it. If you want to get creative and you want to show the cheapest car on the lot, or the richest option, or something in between, you have the leeway to do so, from a product standpoint.

Jason Powers: And I got to tell you, I echo that. We talk about customization, being able to do all the things we can do, and so many times it’s just, “Can you mirror what they have today?”

Jack Stephens: Right.

Jason Powers: Sure, I can show you the 2080% plan.

Jack Stephens: You’re 100% right. And that’s why I put the very basic self funding slide up here. Because what we’ve seen, especially with this great resignation period as they’re calling it, as we’re kind of on the tail end of that, we saw an uptick on the small business side, where you had a lot of groups that were just kind of kicking the can down the road. But they were starting to lose employees, lose key employees, that they couldn’t afford to lose. 

So, we saw a huge, we’re still seeing a huge influx in that two to 50 space of groups that are not used to what self funding is, or what level funded is. And it’s important to be strategic with it. You have to understand why the juice is worth the squeeze, or if it’s not. And for us, it starts with savings. That’s the easy one right off the bat. If you’re fully insured, we always joke, and I think you’ve even probably said it before too, but it’s a black hole a lot of times. It’s a necessary product for those groups.

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Jack Stephens: But a lot of times we’re treating it as a safety net now. Where most agents and brokers, I think that they’ll tell you they’re going to lead out level funded first, and if they have to go to the fully insured space that they will. So, it starts with savings. And plan design wise, the out-of-pocket maximums are just continuing to go up in the fully insured world too, right?

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Jack Stephens: And I tell everybody, again, regardless of whether it’s Allstate, or UHC, SAVORS, or AFA, or whoever the level funded carrier is, my favorite timeline is if a group is a good fit for level funded, they’re usually a great fit. Because what they can do is they can get out of those ACA pools, get out of some of those rigid plan designs, and we can increase the benefits, cut the rates, hopefully both, and still be a competitive option. And so, the end value that the consumers are receiving is just infinitely better than what they would’ve seen on the traditional marketplace for us.

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Jack Stephens: And so, that whole conversation has just gone… we had a lot of them, just because there’s so many more small businesses getting into the space and looking at different options.

Jason Powers: And Allstate does a great job, I think, of providing plenty of different plan design options. And there’s the ability to do multiplan options. What would you say are some of the more unique two Allstate features that you’re seeing on your side?

Jack Stephens: Yeah. I tell everybody, we don’t reinvent the wheel with how we underwrite. So if anybody, any agents or brokers are out there, if you’re trying to place the injectable meds, or the dialysis, or the transplants with a level funded carrier, you probably struggled to do so. Or you’ve seen renewals that have reflected that struggle as well. So, we don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to underwriting. 

Where we can get probably more creative than most carriers is on the eligibility side. 1099 groups right off the bat. We’ve got a white label affinity program with Kelly Williams, it’s a national option, of dealers. So, those 1099 groups, they can be a full group of 1099s, they can be W-2s, K-1s. We can do carve-outs. I can set hours as low as 20 hours a week all the way up to 40 hours a week so. 

So again, the conversation me, when it comes back to looking at level funded, and for Allstate in particular, is use us. Use our team and use our products strategically. If you want to send me those, IT firms that have low utilization and everybody’s under the age of 30, I’ll take them. But when we’re a newer carrier with an agency, or trying to break in, those are not the groups that we usually see. We usually get stuck with the groups that have wonky eligibility, or they got members across state lines. 

So, use that to your advantage. And it gives you, as the agent or the broker, again, it just gives you more options out there. So, I also like to use… take the summer months for example, where everything kind of dries up. You’re going to do 65, 70 plus percent of your business in Q4 or the first part of the first quarter. But those summer months, we write down Arista groups, churches, municipalities. We call them city hubs, water districts, whatever they might be, use those summer months to pull in some business, five, 10 groups to help bolster the portfolio. 

To get your portfolio to a place where you’re not just hinging on fourth quarter, and your financial side of it isn’t just solely rooted in fourth-quarter. It kind of helps balance things out. You’ve seen some groups as of late where they’re coming off fourth-quarter renewals, and I think you’re continuing to see it too. But, use those tools on the eligibility side to your advantage. That would be my suggestion there.

Jason Powers: We’ve seen a big influx of business due to your flexibility, being able to write those non Arista groups, and do some of those groups that have the challenge of participation, or carve-outs. And you’re right, it’s really rounded out our, or it’s extended our busy season.

Jack Stephens: Sure.

Jason Powers: So we’re not just busy in the fourth quarter. You mentioned in the front of this piece about the flexibility in networks, and PPO and RBP. Break that down a little bit, because I think people, they hear RBP, or they hear Allstate, and they go, “But Allstate doesn’t have a managed peer network.”

Jack Stephens: Right.

Jason Powers: “You’re an insurance company. You don’t have a managed peer network like some of these others.” So, break that down for us. What are you seeing network wise?

Jack Stephens: Yeah, I think that’s fair. And so, just for everybody, again, we don’t have a proprietary network, like a Blue Cross. So, we lease all of our networks. From that side of it, what you’re probably going to sell with me most if you’re selling a network is Aetna Signature Administrators network. That’s the network that they typically lease out. We’ve also got another derivative of Aetna, their choice POS, same one that AFA shows. 

Cigna, we’ve got their full PPO, open access plus, Local Plus. We’ve got the full PHCS national network and their derivative, which is their advocate network, which is geared to tackle high dollar claims. There’s a very small percentage of claims that equal the biggest dollars. That’s been a great one for us. And then regionally we have some regional options too. In Missouri, we’ve got HealthLink Open Access II and III. In Nebraska, we’ve got to Midland’s, in Texas you’ve got Healthcare Highways, you’ve got [inaudible] in a couple different markets.

So, the two taglines that I tell everybody when you’re working with us are, we don’t lose groups because of eligibility. I mentioned, we just went through the flexibility on it. We don’t lose groups because of that. We just have so many options where we can plug and play. Now, our model is to, we’re going to put the broadest network in place for the cheapest price. And on top of that, we have reference base, which pays off a percentage of Medicare. And with RBP now, we’ll go into that here shortly, but that’s about 25% of our new business. So, network lies, eligibility wise, flexibility wise, it’s just everything’s at your fingertips. You’ve got anything under this song essentially to quote.

Jason Powers: Yeah. What are you seeing in that, from across the whole portfolio, groups that may be had PPO? Are you seeing more transition into that RBP space?

Jack Stephens: Yeah. We’re deftly seeing… I would see a little bit of transition there, just because how aggressive some of those derivative networks have gotten. So, Local Plus is a good example of that. The coverage in Kansas City for Local Plus is good, but it’s not great. But that’s part of the conversation in our world on the carrier side, is to get to those aggressive price points you’re going to have to probably lose some of that on the network side. So, if you have groups that are open to it, which most are, some are, it’s a great option for them. 

Or, we use those derivative networks. Local Plus, for example, in Kansas City is priced a couple points higher than reference based pricing. So, a group that maybe isn’t ready to take that full dive into the RBP world but once the rating close to that, they’ll be open to looking at some of those networks.

Jason Powers: Sure.

Jack Stephens: Because a lot of groups have gotten, it’s almost like a car dealership, a lot of groups have gotten to the point where we’ll educate them, and I don’t sell on rate, I would prefer not to. There’s other stuff, whether it’s reference-based or full network, I don’t think that’s, in my opinion, how I would make a decision. But there’s business owners out there where it is. So, when they’ll look at a proposal and they’re treating it almost like a car dealership, where they’ll come in and they’ll see the lowest price. So, their focus turns, instead of coverage, is financially motivated. Which is just part of our industry, right?

Jason Powers: Yes.

Jack Stephens: So, a lot of those groups will see that price, but then maybe reference based doesn’t fit, or maybe they’ll look at a derivative of reference based, but they’re not ready to take that jump yet. That’s when they’ll start looking at those other network options that we have out there. But, it’s been interesting to see.

Jason Powers: Yeah. And I know with your reference base set up, we’re talking they can dip their toe in, they can make a full on… What do those options look like?

Jack Stephens: Yeah, so you’ve got three options with us on the RBP side. You’ve got, we call it Core Value I didn’t get paid to do any of the the Branding on it. It’s not my favorite name, I’ll just be honest with you. You’ve got Core Value, which is true reference-based pricing, which pays off a percentage of Medicare. And then you’ve got Core Value Flex, which allows them to jump into a network midyear, between months four and six. And then you have Core Access. 

Core Access has been really interesting. That’s where we’ve seen the bulk of our RBP business flow. Core Access is going to be rated about six to seven points higher than traditional Core Value. But, since it comes with the PHCS provider network for primary care, specialist, and for urgent care visits. So again, about 23, 24% of all of our new business year today is RBP. And that’s pretty close to where we are nationally too.

Jason Powers: Sure. 

Jack Stephens: But a lot of what we’ve seen the last six months, the last eight months is traction on that Core Access product. Just because it, at five or six points, the conversation is, is it worth it to have a network built in? And a lot of groups are saying yes, because it’s still a national network. So, you kind of get the best of both worlds without sacrificing too much.

Jason Powers: So, you’ve got the gamut, right? You’ve got PPO, you’ve got… we kind of glossed over Advantage, but I do know that Advantage is up there too. It’s more of an EPO setting, and network only.

Jack Stephens: It would be closer to an EPI. I tell everybody it’s not. It’s still the same at a signature administrator’s network, there’s just no out-of-network coverage.

Jason Powers: There’s no out of network.

Jack Stephens: And that product and reference based, that the drive from the agent and broker community, was get us something… Nobody ever uses the out-of-network benefits anyways, cut them out. So rural groups, probably not where I would place that product. But if they’re around a Metro, that’s an easy seven, eight points right off the top.

Jason Powers: Yeah. And they’ve got plenty of access [inaudible].

Jack Stephens: And we can quote that Advantage product on four different networks.

Jason Powers: But, what would you say is your ideal… If a broker’s out there looking at their Q4 book, going, “Man, I need to take a look at some Allstate quotes,” what would you say is sort of the ideal stuff that you guys are looking for here?

Jack Stephens: Yeah. I’ll go into the underwriting side of it. That conversation has shifted to, we still require apps. So, I would’ve probably given you a different answer two or three years ago. Now that answer is whatever group is doing apps, in the sub 50 space. But, gun to my head, anything in that five to 15 space, where utilization is normal, again, I mentioned we will struggle to write Humira, or Otezla, or Stelara.

Jason Powers: Like everybody.

Jack Stephens: Like everybody, right? But anything in that five to 15 enroll space, with us on our side, especially with Nat Gen, we would always say the smaller the groups, the better. Which, I don’t think every carrier is probably going to tell you that. Maybe more so now than they probably would’ve a year ago, or two years ago, or pre-COVID really. But, that subtenant space has gotten really neglected, on subtenant role. So, I’ll tell you five. But, we gobble a lot of stuff up in that two to five space just because of necessity. There’s not a lot of people playing in that market. And in that two to five space, we can still offer our full suite of products.

Jason Powers: Yeah. And I’ll tell you, that’s where we see a lot of success with Allstate, is in that two to five space, where the markets are limited. There’s just not a lot of choice, unless we go fully insured-

Jack Stephens: [inaudible].

Jason Powers: And to be able to go to an agent who’s I have got a two or a three life case and say, “I’ve got a level funded proposal for you.” And after apps, it’s probably easier to chase down two or three people to fill out apps then it is to chase down a 28 life case.

Jack Stephens: It’s way easier.

Jason Powers: But realistically, I think that the agents can build a lot of familiarity with Allstate, and a lot of brand loyalty with Allstate by trying out some of those smaller groups first, and then moving of them to some of those larger cases, where I think all the different custom tools and benefits and resources you have available are a good fit for those larger cases too.

Jack Stephens: 100%. And again, I’ve told agents and brokers, you’ll probably right 10 10 life groups with me in the same amount of time you’d write one 100 life group. Now, that’s a little bit different now that we’ve retooled our 51 plus segment. But that small group space is just always where we’ve hung our hat. And our commissions, again, as Midwestern as it gets, so it’s not my favorite selling point. But I know what commissions are in that small group space, especially those micro groups.

Jason Powers: You’re competitive.

Jack Stephens: It’s competitive. And everybody is working. It just translates into those small group. So, we saw a lot of traction the last 18 months in that sub 10 enrolled space.

Jason Powers: Definitely. Definitely. Not just medical. I know we’ve got ancillary lined up tomorrow, but you guys have a whole total portfolio.

Jack Stephens: Yeah, we’ve got everything now. Internally, probably the biggest thing that we’ve done the last year with the rebrand is partnering with our voluntary team. They’re great. So, we’ve got a couple different voluntary reps across my territory. It’s been a really nice marriage. Their voluntary team, just [inaudible] with the product so that they sold, they were working with larger offices. 

Our team is very bruted with, not necessarily mom and pops, but local regional offices. That’s where we’ve gone a mile deep in the last 10, 15 years. So, they’ve opened up some doors for us, but they kind of lost track of that local level a little bit I think they would tell you, because they were just kind of looking in that larger case space, which is just larger shops, right?

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Jack Stephens: So, we’ve been able to bring them in on the referral side, and just kind of opening up both curtains, and working together. And they’re coming to meetings with us. I just did the St. Louis Association of Health Underwriters, our voluntary rep, Shari Roth there, she was one of the symposium directors there. So, she’s very well connected. And same with Kansas City, Jeremy Halter here, and Dan Cable, and we’ve got a new rep, Kelsey Krings up in… he’s out of Iowa, but he works Nebraska for us too. Just partnering with them and bringing them into the fold. 

But not just doing that, we’re also offering bundling discounts. So, if anybody has sold voluntary, or any worksite products, pretty guaranteed issue. We call it small-market solutions, the SMS products for us at Allstate. But, we could bundle those too. And that’s where we’ve seen a lot of that traction in the small group space.

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Jack Stephens: It’s just getting them in the mix, incentivizing everybody to keep those referrals flowing on both sides of the house.

Jason Powers: And when we’re talking voluntary, I want to be clear, we’re talking critical illness, accident.

Jack Stephens: Yep. Cancer, hospital indemnity, disability, all those shelf rated GI box, guaranteed issue.

Jason Powers: Got it.

Jack Stephens: Most of them are, I should say.

Jason Powers: Yeah. 

Jack Stephens: So, they just come at the end of the lifecycle. But on the bundling side for us… And how we market it is, it’s up to 8% off the admin fees. I think a better way to look at it is, there’s four lines that you can sell. Each one of those lines is going to offer you about a half a percent off the total premium. So, you can earn up to 2% off the total premium.

Jason Powers: Okay.

Jack Stephens: And that includes dental/vision.

Jason Powers: Got it.

Jack Stephens: An ancillary’s another space that we just continue to expand. I think probably like most carriers too, right? So we’ve added… Internally for us you’ve got a couple different options on the ancillary side. My team can tack on dental and vision to our level hundred chassis on groups at three and roll, and it’s a click of a button for us. And it all will show on one bill. Easy products, 180, 50 plans, stuff that you’ve seen before. So, we’re not really reinventing the wheel there from a product side. But, think of those groups, especially in the small space, or in the small group space, [00:25:00] you don’t want to do a full ancillary RFP. Click the button, we can include it, and you can still earn bundling discounts for those too. 

If you need a more robust package, we have an in-house [inaudible 00:25:11]. I don’t know if anybody’s talked to her, she’s tremendous. They can do a full ancillary offering with Nippon Life Benefits, or Beam. So, those are the two carriers that we’re going to outsource that to.

Jason Powers: Okay.

Jack Stephens: And I tell everybody, Nippon is the largest insurance carrier that you have never heard of. They are enormous. And Beam, of course, has been great too. So, both are really strong partners for us on that side.

Jason Powers: And then those lead to the bundling and the-

Jack Stephens: Yep, yep. So, there’s a chart, just got pulled up. Yeah, so you can bundle dental, supplemental, disability, and life. Those are the four trenches, that are already about a half a point off the total premium. So, pretty simple, easy for us on our side too. And it’s been… The ancillary world, and that [00:26:00] voluntary world has just kind of exploded post COVID. Voluntary’s great too. I can’t speak to other carriers’ contracts, but like any carrier, we’ve got a couple holes in it. We want to cover everything, but no carrier does. We’re going to cover stuff that somebody else won’t, and vice versa. 

Jason Powers: Right.

Jack Stephens: What’s really nice about some of those voluntary products is they can fill those holes. And they’re paid at cash value, again, they’re easy to put in on the front side, and it just kind of helps the member experience throughout the lifecycle of the contract, which is pretty good to see.

Jason Powers: Yeah, for sure. Now, most of what we’ve historically done with Allstate here at Legacy has been in that small group space. We’ve had recent success in the midmarket space.

Jack Stephens: Yep.

Jason Powers: So, that’s really that 51 plus. 

Jack Stephens: Yeah.

Jason Powers: And I’ll tell you, in the past I don’t think… We don’t do a lot of the 51 plus here at Legacy. I think most of our producers in the market are kind of nestled in that two to 50. But as they grow and as we grow, we have more opportunities in that 51 plus space. And Allstate’s become a player for us in that space in particular due to conversations with Pat, and learning more about some of the customizations in the overall product.

Jack Stephens: Right. Yeah. And for us, it goes back to, for us to continue to grow at the pace that we want to and that we are, our old process in the 51 plus space just is, it was too antiquated. It wasn’t going to work. You mentioned it, nobody wants to get two apps, let alone 52, or 102, or 222, right?

Jason Powers: We use FormFire, so I can get as many apps as you want.

Jack Stephens: Yeah, so somebody will do it. But yeah, the theme for us was we just had to fix it. And that space is where we pilot a lot of stuff too. Whether it’s getting more creative on the RX side, or some of our ben admin stuff that’s coming down the pipe. But it starts with having a conversation on the front end in terms of figuring out what’s the goal here, what’s the end-users goal. And developing that relationship and that partnership with both the agent and the group. Because we’re all kind of in it together.

Product wise itself, they can get really creative now. I mean, 12/12s, run ins, they’re going to offer 100% refund on everything. So from my world, in the small group space, refund potential is that’s either 50% or 100%. Most groups do the 50%, because it’s going to be cheaper, and [00:28:30] the refund is definitely not guaranteed. In the midmarket space it’s always 100% refund. So contract lies, again, 12/12s, where you can trigger the TLL after the contract, you can trigger it before. Getting close to true self funded. That whole product offering has really been built in the last two years.

And the growth has just been significant. I mean, where they’re going to finish this year, I think if you were to say, “This is the number that that team’s going to finish at,” two years ago, they would’ve been ecstatic. But again, it hinges on our agent, our broker partners, and those relationships. But, the 51 plus space has probably seen the most shakeup in the last two years than any other department. But it had to.

Jason Powers: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll say, some of that success has been coupled, at least on our side, has been coupled with growth and changes in the underwriting on the small group side. Just last night, as I’m prepping for this event today, but also trying to be mindful of getting proposals-

Jack Stephens: Sure. You still got business out there. You don’t run a podcast, you run an agency.

Jason Powers: I’m painting Hudson about a particular case, and making sure that I’m reading it right, but it was underwritten. So, you’re now looking at that small group space, particularly with cases coming off of a level funded contract, [00:30:00] and with other carrier models. You’ve changed the underwriting methodology in that space.

Jack Stephens: I’m pretty sure this time last year I was on this show saying that we’ll never GRX. I’m pretty sure that’s what I said. And we don’t technically GRX. I tell everybody we’ve expanded our Simply Written product, which I tell everybody it’s our version of GRX. It’s census plus claims. So, it’s closer to Curve, if anybody’s ever done Curve. But yeah, again, it relates back to you’ve got a couple markets where you’ve got four to five carriers that are doing GRX, that are still doing it. So for us, we had to kind of figure that out. 

And so, we rolled it out at the end of last year in four states, and we’ve expanded into 15 or 16 states now. Very similar rollout to reference based, dipped our toe, capture the data, analyze the data, and expand from there. And that’s what you’ve seen us do in the Simply Written space. So, it starts at 20 plus enrolled. We’re going to ask for two years of claims. Rarely are we actually getting the full two years. But if they’re coming off a fully insured product, that’s where it’s going to be tough. And we’re going to look for high claimant info as well too. So, you’re going to need pay claims, renewal. But most carriers now, not to name names, but most carriers now, you dig through their renewals, and they’re large enough, you’re going to be able to pull a lot of that just off the renewal.

Jason Powers: Oh, for sure.

Jack Stephens: In our team, it’s not that we’re trying to pull those guardrails off completely. But, we also have to write it. So, it’s hard for them to be completely stringent on all those requirements, because if that’s the case, then it’s going to be hard to write anything. So, our underwriting team, even if it’s not a perfect two years of claims, or if we’re not getting the perfect high claimant info, whatever that might be, they’re still open to it, because we still have to capture some of that business. If we’re going to continue to expand it, we got to write it first.

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Jack Stephens: So, the growth for us, that’s been tremendous to see that. A lot of agents and broker partners were anxiously waiting for us to hit that space. And that product, like anything that we do, I think that it’ll look very different a year from now. I’m hopeful that the group size goes down, maybe to 15, or sub 15. Some of the claims reporting comes off a little bit as we get some more cases under our belt, whatever it might be. So, it’s been… I told everybody I would scream at the top of the mountains when we were able to get something close to GRX, and get away from apps. And so, the traction that we’ve had early has just been great.

Jason Powers: Yeah. Well, I’ll scream for you. Simply Written… We got a lot of these to do. We have several cases in the hopper right now that we were expecting prelim quotes on, but because we have the claims data and the census information, we were able to get some rates that increases the time… I should say, decreases the time it takes to sell the case. Increases the opportunity to sell the case, because we don’t have to go back and-

Jack Stephens: It just gets you to a rate faster.

Jason Powers: And I’m a pro individual app kind of guy.

Jack Stephens: Sure. I think most of the agents and brokers will tell you the same thing.

Jason Powers: But there’s only so much time in the day, and there’s only so much you can cram into the fourth quarter. And so, it’s perfect timing from our team’s perspective to be able to really champion that, the ability to do that kind of underwriting with those smaller groups. I know we’ve got some other things cooking within the portfolio. Telemed has moved over to MeMd, right?

Jack Stephens: Yep.

Jason Powers: Dental/vision-

Jack Stephens: Yeah, we talked through dental/vision.

Jason Powers: We talked through that.

Jack Stephens: Yeah, Telemed has been interesting. That’s a subsidiary of Walmart Health. That’s going to include mental health as well. And I know I’m on camera, but I’ll deny, deny, deny, but that product you’ll see expand as well too. That’s going to include physical therapy. It already includes mental health. You get five visits per individual per month, which is huge. And I think that you’ll see that expanded to musculoskeletal. The Telemed world is just one of those ones that you talk about exploding post COVID, they’ve gone nuts. In terms of products, offerings, what you can do. That whole industry has advanced 10 years in the course of two.

Jason Powers: Yeah. And you brought it up. I think you were in Nebraska and I was driving back from probably Nebraska. Not at the same meeting. But, you brought up this last point, and that is that some final development on the broker portal, [00:34:30] as well as a ben admin platform?

Jack Stephens: Yeah, yeah. So, getting out of the… I eloquently describe it as the Stone Age. Our leadership that we have in house now is all new. And the big focus for that leadership, within a year, the big focus for that leadership is the ben admin peace, and getting easier to work with as a carrier for agents and brokers. So, we’re piloting, it’s out. We’ve rolled out our employer portal, our updated employer portal, where groups can go in and adds, terms, deletes, add newborns, address changes, all that stuff. That’s out there right now. The next thing to come will be the agent portal. So, it’s kind of like, again, if you haven’t picked up now, we’re going to try it, test it, fix the bugs, and then expand it as fast as we can.

Jason Powers: That’s great news. Great news. And then going into a busy Q4, where maybe you’ve got a book of business that’s not a January [00:35:30] renewal, but they’ve got new hires coming on, and people coming off, and things to do, being able to circumvent some of that manual process that has been the process in the past, I think it’s just all good stuff.

Jack Stephens: Yeah. And it was always on the roadmap in the Nat Gen days. But from a bandwidth, and from a financial resource standpoint, certain stuff got prioritized over others.

Jason Powers: Sure.

Jack Stephens: That being one of them. With the Allstate influx, it’s changed a lot of that roadmap, or it’s just helped us add resources into developing that portal, and finishing it off, and getting more aggressive from an underwriting standpoint, taking great relief in certain markets that really needed it. So, that’s been great to see.

Jason Powers: Well, that’s all great news. That’s all great news. Any final thoughts for brokers as they enter Q4 and they’re looking at Allstate proposals?

Jack Stephens: For us, on the proposal side, just always remember that [00:36:30] our goal was to walk through in conjunction with you. We’re going to lean on you to let us know the groups are the right fit for may be reference-based, or the groups that they need the full network, or they need those options. With us, just remember that you have that space to give us that feedback, and we want that feedback. At the end of the day, I think what’s so nice about these, again, whether it’s us or any other carrier, what’s so nice about these is it pushes the education at the member level, which is drastically, drastically needed. 

Because we’re all kind of in this industry together. And if we could advance that education, whether you write it with me or anybody else, if the members are prepared to run their plans correctly, and the plans are developed correctly, it just makes for a better experience overall, at a minimum. At best, people are saving thousands of dollars. The way we say that we want smart utilization. Don’t run to the ER for everything. Maybe look at generics. 

So, that kind of conversation for us, we want to get in the weeds. And a lot of times you’ll see us where we do try to get in the weeds, and sometimes may be too much. But, that’s because we’re looking, and trying to turn every stone over to make sure that the end-user is getting the absolute best option that they can. Doesn’t always work, admittedly. But, that’s our biggest goal. So, if you want to see something out-of-the-box, something creative, I would encourage you to give us that feedback.

Jason Powers: Good advice. Good advice. Jack, as always, I appreciate your willingness to come on and educate the brokers.

Jack Stephens: Of course, [inaudible].

Jason Powers: And your partnership with Legacy.

Jack Stephens: Yep. Thank you guys as well. It’s been great.

Jason Powers: It’s a great partnership. To you out in the market, brokers, if you’ve got questions for Jack, or for his team, or for our team about Allstate, do reach out. We’re anxious to help you with your Q4 business. Until next time, we’ll see you then. 

Jack Stephens: Thanks, guys.

Get your marketing materials for Allstate Benefits right here.

Send us your Allstate Benefits quote request now!

RFP Form

Click here to download form

RFP Form
RFP Census

Click here to download form

RFP Census
Group of coworkers with computers at table
Agent Contracting Paperwork

Click here to download the agent agreement with Legacy Brokers.


Are you looking to get a quote for a group?

Carrier you may also like

American Trust Administrators


American Trust Administrators offers small group self-funded options for groups as small as 5 employees in most markets. They offer flexible benefit design and nearly 50 years of administrative experience. Find out how ATA can help you win more business.