Digital-first dental insurance focused on easy, smart, preventive care. Beam offers a full suite of ancillary products. Bundle dental, vision and life for convenience and savings.
Beam Carrier Update
Jason Powers (05:32):
Hello, and welcome back to our carrier product update series, hosted by Legacy Brokers. I’m Jason Powers, and I’m joined here by my good friend who flew all the way out here from Columbus, Ohio, Joe Colarossi. Super, super excited to have you here live in the studio. I think the last time we did this, we did this over Zoom from miles and miles away. So thanks for-
Joe Colarossi (05:55):
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s great to finally be out here.
Jason Powers (05:58):
Yeah. We’re excited to have you in the market. If you’re not familiar with Legacy Brokers, Josh, drop me on the PowerPoint there. Yeah, if you’re not familiar with Legacy Brokers, we are a health insurance general agency located in the Kansas City Market. Our mission really is to help brokers in the market with all things group health. Dental, vision, life, disability products we’re here to talk about here with Joe today, but our whole role here is to help you build, protect and preserve your book of business using a vast network of vendor partners like Beam to really round out your portfolio.
Jason Powers (06:37):
If you’re not familiar with me, if it’s the first time you’re tuning in to this mug, I’ve been in the business since 2000, got licensed working with a third party administrator in the Kansas City Market, solely focused on self-funded health plans. Decided after I grew up in the self-funded arena, I go out and start selling policies myself as a producer. Spent some time on the personal production side learning all the other products in the market. I have also served in various roles throughout my career with health underwriters. I’ve circled back with health underwriters, I actually serve the current secretary and treasurer of the Kansas City chapter of health underwriters, which we’ll be joining them for their symposium tomorrow. So that’ll be exciting.
Jason Powers (07:27):
When I’m not busy with health insurance stuff, I spend a lot of my time on the sidelines with youth soccer organization here in town, watching and coaching my kids. But really a great joy of mine is over the last eight years co-founding and serving as the chief business development officer here at Legacy Brokers, meeting brokers throughout the country and helping them on their journey to build a book of business and help them protect and preserve it. I’m married, father of four boys and we’ve kind of been talking, Joe, I hope I’m not spoiling anything, but that you are expecting to be a father very soon for the first time. So Joe, I’ll let you tell the folks about yourself.
Joe Colarossi (08:18):
Thank you. I’m Joe Colarossi. I’ve been with Beam since 2019, and that’s actually when we first came to the market here in Missouri and Kansas and I got to know Jason, he’s one of my first contacts. Before that I spent pretty much all of my career at Nationwide on the financial services side, life annuities, mutual funds and ETFs, and I had to take the dreaded securities test, the six and seven. So I have a different background, but it’s kind of same flavor.
Joe Colarossi (08:52):
On a personal note, like Jason said, we are expecting so no hobbies other than getting ready for babies. So every ounce of free time is spent doing stuff for that. Getting the house ready, shopping, researching, baby books, all that fun stuff. So I’m really excited to be here, let out of the house. So definitely make it count on here.
Jason Powers (09:20):
Well, I’ll have to advertise or broadcast the words of wisdom we heard from Kathy Webb, our director of operations here, just a few moments ago that they say when your first one is expecting, the days are long, but the years are, Kathy, I’m going to get this wrong, I think the years are longer. Is that what it is? No, the years are shorter. The days are longer, but the years are shorter because we’re both faced with having kids that just recently turned 21. So they eventually grow up and become adults, just know that.
Jason Powers (09:49):
Well, now that you know a little bit about Joe and I, it’s time for Josh to launch the first poll question, and that is to tell us a little bit about yourself. So in a moment you’ll see on your screen a poll asking you, how would you define your role or responsibility as a licensed insurance agent? You can choose multiple choice answers here. It helps us really shape the kind of material and content that we put out into the universe if we know a little bit about those that are joining us live in the webinar version. So give it just a few more seconds here. Looks like we’ve got half of the respondents or viewers now are on the group health side. So that’s good. We’ve got some agency employees, as well as individual and family health insurance agents. A couple of Medicare specialists and a financial advisor. So wonderful. Josh, go ahead and end that poll for me and share the results with the crowd so you know who you’re online with, and then we’ll go ahead and stop that. And land me back on the PowerPoint. We’re ready to rock. All right.
Jason Powers (11:03):
If this is your first time tuning into one of our events, just know that this is our carrier product update series. This is where we sit down with carrier representatives like Joe, and talk about their products. Some of the other events that we have throughout the year are CE classes, a great opportunity for you to get free continuing education credits, as well as learn, actually learn something from our courses we hope, we deliver educational content. Our first in a three part series of self-funded university starts next Wednesday, April 13th, I believe is a week from today, with our self-funded university part one, which is how self-funded plans work. It’s a two-hour and two CE credit course where we’ll take a broad overview of how self-funded health plans really operate. And then the following week we go into part two, which is how to analyze and compare self-funded quotes, really just kind of looking at proposals side by side. Finishing up with part three, which is our part three of our self-funded university. Another two hours diving into self-funded claims data.
Jason Powers (12:17):
You can register for all of our events at the same place you registered for this particular carrier product update, on our website at legacybrokerskc.com under the events tab. You can register for all of them today if that’s something you’re interested in. The process for today, and I did get Wordle in four tries today, so I’m on a pretty good streak right now. You’re on mute, but we certainly want to encourage you to participate in the conversation. It just helps us manage some of the noise in audio. But if you do have questions throughout the presentation, use the Q and A feature on Zoom for topic specific questions that you want to direct to Joe or myself. If you want to talk to Josh in the background, he’s DJing over here with all the AV equipment, use that chat feature to let him know if you’re having any technical issues, he’ll be happy to assist.
Jason Powers (13:13):
Otherwise, feel free you to raise your hand and you can use that reactions feature to do that in the Zoom app and that’ll give Josh an indication that we need to maybe address any questions you have. Maybe even bring you live in on the broadcast here to ask your question directly of Joe and see if we can stump him with some brain teasers.
Jason Powers (13:34):
All right, after today, if you have questions for any anyone here at Legacy, you can certainly email me at any time. If you don’t have my email address in your contacts, please add me. My direct mobile number is listed there on the screen as well. We really encourage you to participate in the conversation on LinkedIn, where we post a lot of our content. In addition to this carrier product update, we’ll actually have highlights of today’s episode, as well as some of the other carriers we’ve talked to over the course of the last few years, highlights dripped out on LinkedIn for you to view in a smaller form of content. If you like what you see, give us a five star review on Google reviews and make sure you visit our website for additional resources.
Jason Powers (14:20):
I’m going to turn it over to my friend, Joe, to talk to us about an awesome product. And you did mention it back in ’19. We didn’t know about Beam because it wasn’t in our local market here and now we’ve got agents in 31 states. I know Beam has got some availability in most of those states, maybe not all, but certainly excited about where things are headed. So tell us a little bit about Beam.
Joe Colarossi (14:44):
So Beam, we are an innovative dental benefits company that combined traditional PPO insurance with new technology and a wellness program to create a whole new dental experience. Traditionally, dental is kind of something that’s sat in the background and we aim to change that. Put a different spin on things to make your life easier as the broker, but also your client’s lives easier. So trying to focus on things to make our dental insurance more easily digestible while focusing on preventative care.
Jason Powers (15:23):
Yeah. Hard to really get excited. I mean, as a broker, it’s hard to really get excited about a dental insurance plan, right? And I think that’s one of the first conversations you and I had was, all right, Joe, it’s another dental insurance plan, right? I’ve got a whole myriad of dental insurance plans and there’s a big name in our market that likes to be the top dog in that particular segment of the industry. But Beam really, I think, sets itself apart with the technology. What is, and I’m going to screw this up. Are we-
Joe Colarossi (16:00):
We’re okay here. To add on Beam’s history, we actually have been around for a very long time, but in a very different capacity than we are now. So our founders actually got started in 2012 and back then we were just a toothbrush company and they were actually going around trying to sell our brushes to some of the Legacy carriers that are out there. And then the founder Alex always tells a story of always having two pitches ready, either the toothbrush pitch or the insurance pitch and the insurance one always got more attention. So as they did kind of develop that in the background, late 2015, early 2016 is when we really got our start as Beam, the insurance company. So from there we’ve grown exponentially from offering the brushes that they created with a dental product and now we’re live in 41 states.
Jason Powers (17:03):
Joe Colarossi (17:04):
Jason Powers (17:04):
And I think that was one of the first things I remember about our initial conversation was that Beam started as a toothbrush company. It wasn’t always an insurance company and that kind of goes to what, differentiate, not just the technology, but some of the things that differentiate Beam from some of the other dental insurance companies, we go to symposiums, we go to trade shows and they’ve all got plastic wrapped toothbrushes, but Beam’s toothbrush is a little bit different, right?
Joe Colarossi (17:37):
That’s right. So it is smart Bluetooth toothbrush that can connect with our app on your smartphone. And there’s a couple things that are unique about it. So if a member connects their brush, there is a tracking piece to it. And if the group brushes well as a whole, they can see a discount at their renewal. Much like a safe driver discount, but for your mouth. And then the second piece to it is the rewards program, which is pictured on the screen right now. So to get more people to engage and participate in that program, we started giving members points for brushing their teeth every day. And now you can use and accrue those points towards more brush heads, refills, even gift cards. When I just redeemed mine, there’s Starbucks and Amazon on there right now. So you can get $5 gift cards there just by brushing your and teeth. So brush your teeth, get a cup of coffee.
Jason Powers (18:31):
Right. And then as a parent, encouraging the kids to brush and connect with any device that might be tracked, like the app to track their activity as well, is it?
Joe Colarossi (18:41):
That’s right. So it’s set up much like a Netflix account. So the employee will be the main member and then you can actually scroll down to the dependents on the plan. So they’ll actually be able to see if you’re brushing your teeth or not.
Jason Powers (18:54):
Yeah. So I can see when my kids say, “Dad, I brushed,” “No, I’m looking at the app. It says you didn’t brush kiddo.” And so we’ve got the kit here. Is that right?
Joe Colarossi (19:05):
Yeah. So that’s kit is it the one that we send out to all of our members and their dependents. So a family of four can get four of these. All we need is an email address. Once a member signs up and we implement them, they get a welcome to Beam email, set up your online account, pick your brush. And then to increase engagement, something that we recently changed is to actually get the brush sent to your house, you have to download the app and just click redeem on your phone. So that’ll hopefully get more people into the app itself.
Jason Powers (19:38):
Well, you’re sending out kits to those that want them versus sending them out and hoping that they log on. That’s a great change in process. What’s included in that Beam kit?
Joe Colarossi (19:49):
So you get the brush, a brush head, and then a mini toothpaste. And then if you want to get refills, you can either buy them online or that’s when you want to use your points. Start using them towards those brush heads or toothpaste. My personal favorite is the toothpaste.
Jason Powers (20:06):
Yeah. Great. All right. Now we’ve talked about really, when we rolled out Beam, I know a couple years ago, it was really dental. We talked about vision as a sort of an add-on, but you guys have really expanded over the course of the last year to really offer a full suite. Talk more about what products are being offered now when we ask you for a proposal and where we think things are heading.
Joe Colarossi (20:37):
Sure. So our main bread and butter is going to be the dental. That’s definitely where we’re best at, but we’ve partnered up with some great carriers in the ancillary space to offer [inaudible 00:20:48] solutions with the dental. So we partner with VSP to bundle four different vision plans, and then more recently Nationwide and that’s who our life and disability products are through. And we do have some great things coming down the pipeline. We’ll be adding, well, eight new products this year. We’re going to start with hospital indemnity accident, critical illness, voluntary life. And then later down the road this year, we’re going to be adding salary based life insurance. Right now we just have basic and then salary based disability. So we’re on our way to become a full on digital ancillary provider. And we’re going to start with the new products at least in select states and then roll it out nationwide, most likely at the beginning of next year.
Jason Powers (21:40):
And one of the challenges we have as brokers in the market is if we’re talking about multiple products, we’re talking about multiple enrollment systems, multiple billing systems, multiple enrollment forms. You mentioned Nationwide being the partner on the life and disability side, is it integrated? Is it separate different billing? Is it different enrollment systems? How are you administering that on the backside?
Joe Colarossi (22:08):
So the nice thing is that it’s all with us. So we do the administration, billing, eligibility. They’ll handle the claims piece of it, but you can send the initial stuff to us and we’ll help with that process with Nationwide. So they’ve been a great partners of ours, easy to work with, easy underwriting and easy administration. So everything is housed in our own system called lighthouse, which you’ll have access to with the live groups that you have with us, where you can add term, get insurance cards, order brushes if we need to. If someone misplaces theirs, you can reach out to us on the service side.
Jason Powers (22:52):
Well, and from a proposal perspective, I think there’s something about the presentation and just the sheer ease of presentation of the bean proposals on all of the product lines. I know that internally, it’s one of our favorite proposals to look at. I mean, it’s just something aesthetically pleasing about being able to understand everything on the proposal where you get into some of these, some of these quotes are really hard to find the information you’re looking for. And I think kudos to being not only making the dental and vision and all the other ancillary products easy to administer, but easy to read on the proposal, for sure. The dental, just the dental alone, the dental product alone, and we’ve talked, there’s not a lot of sizzle in dental insurance. People buy dental insurance and then they use it and they expect that the rates don’t change a whole lot. But there are some gotchas in a lot of those dental policies when we’re talking small group. What’s the differentiator for Beam when we’re quoting a dental plan?
Joe Colarossi (24:01):
Sure. So we do have that wellness program that sits on top, but at its core, the insurance product is very rich. So even for those two life groups that have never had dental before, we don’t have any waiting periods. So many times there’ll be big barriers, having to wait six to 12 months to be able to use your plan and we’ve eliminated that. Also, we’re not downgrading on any materials for posterior fillings or crowns or anything like that. So they can get the nice tooth colored fillings covered at standards. So that’s a big one, as well as no missing tooth clause. And we actually cover mouth guards, which the past two years have been pretty stressful time on a lot of people. And that actually crept up into our top 10 claims.
Jason Powers (24:52):
Has it really?
Joe Colarossi (24:53):
Yeah. So that is something very unique that we cover that others might not.
Jason Powers (25:00):
Like teeth grinding kind of anxiety [crosstalk 00:25:03].
Joe Colarossi (25:04):
Beam brush. So yeah, for any teeth grinders, bruxism, it really just aims to protect the enamel and keep those things nice and strong.
Jason Powers (25:15):
And implant coverage, right?
Joe Colarossi (25:17):
Yes. Yeah, we do cover implants at standard and all of these are, we can customize the plants to fit the needs of your groups in any way. But no matter how we customize it, all those features are standard that are listed on the screen. So as far as the customization goes, no, we can really dial things up however we need to. So we can turn up and down the coinsurances, we write everything at the 90th UCR standard, but can also do a MAC plan or increase the UCR to 95th. We can increase the MAC all the way up to 5,000 if a group really wants it. Add carryover, add child or adult worth though, a decrease deductible to zero or a wave preventative counting toward the annual MAC. So we do have all those different things to customize the plans.
Jason Powers (26:14):
That’s wonderful. And we know the product is great, but it’s only as good as the network of providers that are available. When we first started working with Beam a couple years ago, it was, I can’t remember, it was the DenteMax, or? It was DenteMax, right? For the network. What’s changed over the last couple years and how is the network growing?
Joe Colarossi (26:37):
So we just had DenteMax and now we recently added dental benefits providers, which is United Healthcare Network. And then we have some regional networks such as Connection Dental and Careington and all of those combined create our network stacks. So as long as a dentist accepts one of those, they’re considered in network with Beam. And all of those networks are actually on our cards, So the dentist will know which one that we’re with and if not, we’ll just pay them at the 90th UCR. But we do have plenty of options and it’s really easy to search for a dentist. So a picture on the screen is our find dentist tool. So if you have a specific dentist that you’re looking for, you can type their name in, but if you also wanted to do a radius search, it’s easy, just type in the zip code and the radius that you’re looking for. And if you click into it, it’ll actually tell you which network that they accept or with. And some of them won’t be in all four, but…
Jason Powers (27:38):
Yeah. If you’re trying to go out and look right now, it’s beam.dental.
Joe Colarossi (27:45):
Yes. So that’s our main site to get directly to the network tool, just dentists.beam.dental, so very easy.
Jason Powers (27:54):
Yeah. But I mean, even going to the main site, super easy. Again, aesthetically pleasing simple site, easy to find information on. I find myself out there all the time when we’re talking to agents about Beam dental quotes and what does their network look like in St. Louis or what does it look like in Tulsa. Going out and be able to find the providers. It pulls up the map with the little point of interest. We’re almost like a Google Map with all the different points showing where all the providers are. Super simple to use. And I mean, to the point where I’ve not really been that engaged past pointing someone to the site, so that’s great.
Joe Colarossi (28:39):
Yeah, that’s our goal, is keep it easy and smart. So as you said before on the quotes, we just try to make everything easy to read and easy to understand and easily digestible.
Jason Powers (28:51):
Yeah. Well, and for agents, I think that are maybe specialized on the health side, on the medical side, and they’re trying to round out with ancillary products. If you don’t have to worry about a lot of the gotchas like, oh, it’s a great product, right price, but there’s no dentist to take it. And that’s problematic. And I know you guys have really worked hard to increase the network footprint by accessing some of those other regional networks and that’s just been in the last couple years. So if you’ve looked at Beam in the past and it didn’t work because your group was in Dodge City, Kansas, now with kind of rounding out some of those regional networks, I think it’s certainly added, added access points that were weren’t there before. And even with, like you said, the 90th percentile, I think takes of a lot of that with the out of network dentists.
Joe Colarossi (29:43):
It does. So we pay dentist just as fast if they’re in network versus out of network. So we really automated a lot of the claims process. So if they submit a claim to us and they’re not in network, we just pay them at the 90th. We use [Spire 00:29:57] Health and we’re not washing it with their own claims data. So the reimbursements are competitive. The dentists like it because they get paid pretty quickly. And for instance, I got a mouth guard last year and Beam had my pre-treatment estimate back to me the next day, and then my dentist called me a week later with that same estimate saying, hey, it’ll be covered. So Beam gets it done and turned around really quickly.
Jason Powers (30:27):
That’s great. And you mentioned the app and that kind of ties into the technology that’s available using the Beam brush. Talk us through kind of what else members can see by downloading the app.
Joe Colarossi (30:42):
So they can track their brushing habits. They can actually control the brushes from the app. So the wellness piece is there. But also everything that you can need for your insurance plan is on the app. So you can get your insurance card to show the dentist your phone there. You can also grab EOBs or the pretreat estimates there. And if you’re really having a hard time sleeping at night, all the certs are on there. So the 50 pages [inaudible 00:31:11], you can go through that if you really want to. So everything that you can need is on there, including find a dentist and then the shop too. So that’s where you actually go to redeem your brush points on the app.
Jason Powers (31:23):
Great. You mentioned lighthouse and that’s a tool I know internally at Legacy we use this all the time for the onboarding process, for the administration of the case once it’s in place. But this is all accessible to the brokers as well?
Joe Colarossi (31:43):
Yes. So pretty much everything that you would need to do is available through lighthouse. So you can add term, and this is for all product lines. So you can add in term, grab invoices. If someone loses their card, you can actually order them a hard copy or print off a PDF for them in their employee page. You can pull renewals from there. You can pull the enrollment from there, the Excel file if you need it. And if there’s anything that you can’t do or if it’s something more complicated, that’s what we’re here for. You can send that to us and we’ll process it manually.
Jason Powers (32:23):
So something I was just thinking about, because there is this wellness program kind of tied in with the Beam perks, tied into the dental piece of it, is there a way to access how many people are participating? I mean, can we see utilization reports in that lighthouse system?
Joe Colarossi (32:44):
Yeah. So we can do check-ins. All you would have to do just basically let me know. So it won’t be available on the platform, but we can run those reports for you. So we do have a team, client success team who that’s their job is to ensure our clients are happy and help us out with renewals and contract changes, but they can also pull that data for us to see how our group’s doing in the middle of the year. So we do have all those capabilities available.
Jason Powers (33:14):
And we do want to encourage people to take advantage of the wellness program and the Beam perks because that not only gets them the points to use in the store, but talk about that renewal, the credits back to the renewals, I thought that was really unique. I know we’ll talk about some of the rate cap stuff, but how does that Beam perks really reward the group at renewal?
Joe Colarossi (33:41):
Sure. So if you have a good participation in a group, you can see some pretty great discounts at renewal if they are participating in the program. The three things that we’re really looking for are average participation of the group, average duration of brushing. So we’re looking for two minutes twice a day and then average frequency. So that two times a day piece. And if we aggregate all of those into one score, A, B, C, or D just like in school, you can’t get an increase from it, it can only really help the group, they can see a pretty hefty discount. So there’ll be what the current premium is, what the utilization is and then brush score, and then what the renewal premium will be. So if a group is just using Beam just for the insurance piece, that’s okay. They’re not going to see an increase and certainly we have tons of groups that do that.
Jason Powers (34:41):
Yeah. They won’t be penalized for not using the Beam perks, but it certainly can help if they do participate?
Joe Colarossi (34:49):
Yeah. What other dental planning allows you to get a brush? So definitely take advantage.
Jason Powers (34:53):
Well, and certainly Beam is part of our product portfolio. And so as agents are out there in the market asking for dental or vision and now life and disability quotes, we include Beam in our market exposure. But what are some of the things that are unique about your quoting process? I know the look and feel of those proposals is really nice and simple and easy to present. But there’re some other things I think that make you different than some of the other carriers. Talk about that.
Joe Colarossi (35:34):
So we’ve really streamlined the process for one. So we do custom quotes and we can turn those around in 48 hours or less. And the only pieces of demographic data that we need are the dates of birth or ages and the zip codes of where they live. And so we custom quote based on those two things and then we’ll turn them around to you in 48 hours or less. So we really try to be the fastest quote you’ll get back and the easiest one to digest. So typically we’ll include two to three plans, sometimes four, starting off at the plan that they have currently. If they do have dental with another carrier, we’ll match what they have plan design wise and then include some additional options based off of that.
Joe Colarossi (36:23):
So that’s what we really try to do. And then we have some great promotions going on now from a rate standpoint, from now until the end of May for groups with 10 to 99 eligible employees, we’re given a two-year rate guarantee with a third year 3% cap for effective dates out to August 1. So essentially a three year rate guarantee without an extra load. And then for the large groups, which we consider a 100 to 499, are doing tier year rate guarantee with a 7% 30-year cap effective dates all the way out to Jan one. So we do have some great, great promotions going on right now.
Jason Powers (37:08):
That’s great. That’s great. Well, parting thoughts before we move on about the stuff that’s coming? I know you mentioned some of the other ancillary products I know that’s got some limited market availability, but what’s any other parting thoughts as agents venture off into the world of selling Beam dental and all the ancillary that comes with it?
Joe Colarossi (37:31):
So if there’s anything that you remember, just remember us or me as the toothbrush guy, and you can actually get with Jason, he has a link that he can send to you to actually order some sample perk packs to get sent to the office. So he can actually test the brush out and use it as a great marketing piece. So I found it’s just a great, great story to tell and a really a great door opener to get in with clients.
Jason Powers (37:57):
I love having the boxes in my office just to be able to talk to brokers that have never sold it, send them off a box to start with, right? Just so they can see and feel and touch what it is Beam is offering on that Beam perk side of things. And I think it helps connect that broker to Beam as a company, because it’s probably a company they’ve never heard of. And certainly having you come into in the marketplace with us is wonderful. We hope this is the first of many visits and we look forward to long, long prosperous relationship.
Jason Powers (38:39):
Same back to you there. If you’re viewing our carrier product update series here, we certainly look forward to working with you on your next Beam or just your next dental quote, where we can package in vision, life, and disability. After this presentation today, if you want to see some more information, feel free to reach out to my myself or any member of our staff. Again, join the conversation on LinkedIn and register for our next event. Before we head out, though, if you could let us know at home or in your office, how can we connect after today, Josh will launch the second poll here. Just let us know how we can connect after today. If you want to learn more about Beam, we’ll get in contact with you here this week. Otherwise, we’ll bid you adieu until our next carrier product update. Joe, I appreciate you coming out and again-
Joe Colarossi (39:37):
Thank you so much for having me.
Jason Powers (39:38):
… super excited, especially knowing what’s going on at home and how close you are to being a father. Nervous anticipation of whether or not we could make this work time, time wise.
Joe Colarossi (39:49):
Yeah, I got let out of the house, so that was good news for me.
Jason Powers (39:53):
Yeah, for sure.
Joe Colarossi (39:53):
I’ve been stuck in there for a while.
Jason Powers (39:56):
All right. Well, that’s all we’ve got for you today. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you in our next event and until then have a great day.