Carrier – Metlife

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MetLife Carrier Update

Jason Powers: I’m Jason Powers, and I’m joined today by Matt Breitenbach, from MetLife, regional market account executive. Did I pronounce that right? Is it Breitenbach or Breitenboch?

Matt Breitenbac…: Breitenbach.

Jason Powers: Breitenbach.

Matt Breitenbac…: I’ve heard a lot worse, so I appreciate that.

Jason Powers: I should have clarified that in the pre-show. Matt, I appreciate you being here. This is the first time we’ve had MetLife on for our carrier product update. This is a special edition, this is our Q4 kickoff summit. Brokers are getting ready to head into Q4, a busy renewal season. We primarily do a lot of group medical here, but ancillary is something that we get asked a lot for. We’ve got a great partnership with MetLife, so I appreciate you taking the time to come out and be part of our show, and part of educating our brokers.

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m very impressed by the setup and everything.

Jason Powers: You should see us on the weekends, we get pretty crazy around here. We’ll jump right into it.

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah.

Jason Powers: Let’s talk about MetLife, what’s going on with product, and what brokers can expect in Q4.

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah, absolutely. I have a slide here that has a lot of tiny print. I do not expect everyone to be able to see that or read that. I’ve got some notes written down, and just some brief highlights before we jump into the extra stuff. Running left to right and top to bottom, the first thing up there, on the top left, we’ve evolved our disability and absence management, or leave management. We wholly own our system. That is, a lot of times, a sticking point in the market, whether people outsource their leave management, or do it internally. We decided to fully invest, I think the number is about $500 million in the space, to make sure that we are the best in the market. We currently can go down to 500 employees on that, and we have future looking plans to go down to 100 employees. That’s something new and exciting about disability, as we see different state plans popping up. If you ever have questions about different state plans, we do have a full website about all the different state plans. It’s super interactive, I highly recommend checking in and out.

Moving over to the enhanced dental benefits, I will talk more about this on the next slide, but we have historically not done rollover. We have not done too much from a preventative care, incentive benefit, stuffeis just the best way to put it. That is no longer true. We have entered that space, and we’ve done something a little different. Like I said, I’ll get into that.

The third thing up there, on the top right, continued investment in health savings and spending accounts. A lot of people don’t know, we’re actually an HSA and FSA vendor. We’ve been doing it for about three years, and we’re hitting the ground running with this. We have it internally for ourselves, and it’s something that a lot of different companies have, or want, and we’re like, “Hey, we’re missing out on a little bit of the market. We might as well get into this space as well.”

Jason Powers: You’re acting in the capacity of a bank, essentially, on the HSA administration, and the FSA administration?

Matt Breitenbac…: We partner with WEX health for it.

Jason Powers: Okay, I’m familiar with their platform.

Matt Breitenbac…: We do pay broker commissions on it, which I understand is unique. If you have more questions about HSA and FSA, I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not an expert in it.

Jason Powers: That’s okay. It’s good to know that you do it.

Matt Breitenbac…: It’s something that comes up a little bit here and there. We’re not quite the biggest player yet, but we’re continuously investing in products like that, to really become the rounded out carrier for a group.

Moving into the middle, on the left, expand and connected benefits experience. Connected benefits, for those of you that don’t know, from a MetLife perspective, what this means is, we can actually take a medical claims file on a self-funded medical customer, and take those claims to automatically notify employees of any accident claims, critical illness claims that they might be leaving money on the table. Let’s say, for example, something comes across on a medical claims file that signifies, easy example, a heart attack. We get that claims file, we see that employee has critical illness insurance with us, we’ll send them, I think an email and a letter, letting them know, “Hey, you might be leaving money on the table. You should probably submit a claim, and here’s directions on how to submit that claim.”

Jason Powers: Wow.

Matt Breitenbac…: On the flip side of that, we also have the ability to automatically pay out health screening benefits, the $50 or $100 someone could get as part of their accident or critical illness plan. When their annual wellness exam comes across that claims file, we’ll just automatically send the $50 check.

Jason Powers: You’re not requiring that they actually file, you just go right into the claims file?

Matt Breitenbac…: We send them free money.

Jason Powers: Wow, interesting.

Matt Breitenbac…: Historically, we’ve done this with disability programs. That was easy, that was the first step. We’ve expanded into the medical market. If they’ve got self-funded medical, 100 employees and above, they are eligible. We are forward looking into dental and vision as well, so that when you go and get your dental cleaning, that counts as a health screening benefit for us. You go get your dental cleaning, and you’ve got accident with MetLife, $50 showing up in your mailbox.

Jason Powers: Wow.

Matt Breitenbac…: We’re trying to make it make sense for employees, from a connected perspective. It’s something that’s super exciting for us.

Jason Powers: Just to expand on that, if I’ve got a custom TPA in place, where I’m getting detailed medical claims feeds, obviously, in some of the small group carrier models, I’m not going to get that kind of feed, but if I can get that kind of feed, it’s just a matter of integrating with your systems. Do you guys manage that integration with the medical TPA, or is that something the broker facilitates, by getting the file and sending it to you?

Matt Breitenbac…: It’s actually as simple, from a group and broker perspective, as a checkbox during implementation. You let us know, you give us whoever the contact is that you have over there, and our team gets off and running with it. There are no fees from our perspective. We have seen medical carriers charge a fee for the service of sending the claims information to a new party, but we’ve only seen that once or twice. Typically speaking, there’s no cost associated with this, either.

Jason Powers: Is there a size threshold that you say, “Hey, we won’t to do this for any group smaller than-”

Matt Breitenbac…: We need 100 employees.

Jason Powers: Okay, this is for the 100 employees.

Matt Breitenbac…: Yes.

Jason Powers: Got it.

Matt Breitenbac…: There are some healthcare navigation services that come along with it too, but yeah, it’s 100 plus. I believe it’s part of the plans, with expanding into the dental and vision. I believe we’re trying to bring it down market, but we don’t offer accident and critical illness, except in specific scenarios, under 100 employees anyway. It’s a moot point.

Jason Powers: Makes sense.

Matt Breitenbac…: Excuse me. Pet insurance. This is actually something… Jason, you laugh, it’s the same response I get every single time. You think about the pet industry, not just pet insurance, you think about the pet industry in the last three years, I lived in an apartment complex during the start of COVID, the initial two weeks shut down that seemed to go forever. I think there must have been 10 to 15 new puppies in the first six months of COVID, just in our apartment complex. The numbers are astounding, of how many people adopted pets. I was just talking to somebody earlier this morning, about the cost that they have for their dog at the vet, more and more people are seeing pet insurance as a must have benefit at work.

You also talk about the current war on talent. We are getting more and more requests for benefits like pet insurance, because people are like, “I need to have everything available to my client, or to my employees, because they can get this somewhere else, and I need to be able to retain employees.” We laugh about pet insurance. It is funny to me, I couldn’t fathom buying it for my dog. With that said, there are so many people who are saying, “We want this, we need this,” and employers are looking at it as a retainable tool.

Jason Powers: Anybody that’s ever watched. One of our CE classes that we did during COVID, when I was at home, has probably heard my pug snore at my feet.

Matt Breitenbac…: The classic pug story.

Jason Powers: Yeah, the pug. We’ve had her in the vet twice, for some major surgeries, upwards of $3,000 a piece. I understand the need for it. I heard from someone else that, because it’s not life and health, it requires a P&C license to be sold?

Matt Breitenbac…: Yes, good call out. It’s definitely a P&C license.

Jason Powers: Is that another one of those over 100 before you offer it?

Matt Breitenbac…: Over 100, we can do it standalone, no problem. Under 100, we need to package it with some classic, core product, whether that’s dental, vision, life, disability.

Jason Powers: Okay.

Matt Breitenbac…: It is available all the way down to 10 employees.

Jason Powers: Good to know. 10 enrolled, or 10 eligible?

Matt Breitenbac…: 10 eligible.

Jason Powers: Good to know.

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah.

Jason Powers: All right.

Matt Breitenbac…: Moving on to vision insurance, I will move into another slide in a little bit here. We purchased our own vision carrier, Superior and Davis, the overarching company is Versant health. If you’re unfamiliar with that, Superior and Davis. This is super exciting for me, because we, typically before, had to go ask for permission to do things with plan designs, the pricing wasn’t always really up to our discretion. Now, we own the process. That’s what I’m excited about. We own the network. We own the process. We own the credentialing for our network, much like we do with dental. We can have who we want in network, and kick out who we don’t want in network.

There are a lot of little benefits that have come of this. I didn’t see this as a positive when we first did it, but the more and more we talk about it, the more I’m like, “That’s something new that I didn’t know we could do,” because we didn’t own it before. I’ll get into more there.

Life insurance, we did roll out a new whole life product. With that, we do also, any group with 100 employees or more, an employee navigator. We have a digital statement of health available. That’s been a big touchpoint recently. It’s a pretty easy setup, and 100 or more employees, an employee navigator. We can get a digital statement of health for voluntary life.

Jason Powers: We can still do the product under 100-

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah.

Jason Powers: It just adds a paper statement?

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah, it’s a normal, clunky process, but I think everybody experiences the clunky statement of health process.

Jason Powers: Typically on those, you’re getting the statement of health because they’re doing it above the GI?

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah, it’s always an understandable reason.

Jason Powers: That’s always coming after the application for the coverage?

Matt Breitenbac…: Exactly. It’s almost like the employee navigator is set up for a digital statement health. I will still recommend doing it ahead of going live for a group, because they’re going to start sending a statement health before our statement health team recognizes that group. Waiting until the first of the effective date, it typically works a little bit better that way.

Jason Powers: Makes sense.

Matt Breitenbac…: The last two things from this slide. Financial wellness, we do have our seminars, Retire Wise, Plan Smart. Those are in the 500 plus area. We can do also this new Upwise app by MetLife. We can do that down to 100 employees. I personally use it, I actually love it, and there’ll be more on that later. ID theft, we entered into an exclusive agreement with Aura, and we are the only carrier in the country who can offer Aura through the group chassis, or your perspective.

If we can move to the next slide, I wanted to go into, just really briefly, how our new incentive provisions work for dental. This is just one simple example. There are a couple of different options that we can do, from a vanishing deductible perspective.

Jason Powers: Vanishing deductible?

Matt Breitenbac…: Each year, if you are getting the necessary cleanings, or the necessary preventative maintenance, the deductible will go down. That’s one option. Another option is this, the annual max increase. Each year, as long as you’re getting your exam and your cleaning, just one, your annual maximum will be bumped up by whatever the predetermined amount is. This example uses $250. I’ve seen $50 versions, I’ve seen $100 versions. The interesting thing about this, I said, “Oh great, we’re doing rollover. We’re going to match the market.” No. You never lose this amount. If you jump to year two, and in year one, you got your cleaning and your exam, you’ll go to $2,250. If you don’t get a cleaning and exam that year, you’re still going to have $2,250 that year, and [00:15:30] every year following. As soon as you get another cleaning and exam, it’ll jump up to $2,500, in this example, but it will be capped after two years. You can go from $2,000 to $2,500. Beyond that, you’ll just maintain that $2,500 annual maximum.

Jason Powers: Just by having the exam and the cleanings the first two years?

Matt Breitenbac…: Yep.

Jason Powers: Does that work same on the $1,000?

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah.

Jason Powers: It would be $1,250 and $1,500?

Matt Breitenbac…: Yep.

Jason Powers: It’s just the $250 incentive provision?

Matt Breitenbac…: Yep.

Jason Powers: It’s innovation.

Matt Breitenbac…: Right. This is something that we have to add on through the underwriting process.

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Matt Breitenbac…: It’s not automatic, but it’s as simple as either you letting me know to quote it, or me being smart enough to just throw it in.

Jason Powers: I love it.

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah.

Jason Powers: I love innovation in dental, which can often be the same plan every time.

Matt Breitenbac…: I get that. I was listening to John before, and I was like, “Yep, I know all that stuff.” Just touching briefly back on the vision piece, acquiring Superior and Davis allowed us to become the third largest U.S. vision carrier. There are a lot of numbers behind that, a lot of experience behind that. [00:17:00] As I said before, it allows us to strengthen and control the process, to help us expand what we’re doing there.

Jason Powers: Now, that disconnect with the network, it’s yours now.

Matt Breitenbac…: Exactly. This goes back to the Retire Wise and Plan Smart that I mentioned before, this is available down to 500 employees, but the thing I want to call out, that we can do down to 100 employees, is the Upwise app, and I think it might be on the next slide.

Jason Powers: Yep.

Matt Breitenbac…: Upwise is completely free. You let us know that you guys want to add it, we set up the control tower, we call it, we put the group’s name in, you send out communications to the group, and they can sign up as they want, completely free. We launched it about a year ago now, and it’s been great. Like I said, I use it, I linked my bank accounts, and I found a couple of subscriptions through the app that I didn’t know I was paying for still. It was a video game prescription from when I was in college. Not prescription, subscription, from when I was in college 10 years ago.

I’m like, “I’m still spending $5 a month on this? Are you kidding me.” I was thankful for the Upwise app, it saved me five bucks a month, just like that.

Jason Powers: Right. It’s going in, and it’s finding areas-

Matt Breitenbac…: You have to give her permission and all that.

Jason Powers: Sure.

Matt Breitenbac…: It’s been great.

Jason Powers: That’s great.

Matt Breitenbac…: I think there’s one more slide. Yeah, Aura. This one is really cool. I’m a really big fan of this, I personally have it. It is ID theft. It is financial wellness. It is online protection. It is dark web searching your information. It’s doing everything that you want from an online or ID theft protection, all in one app.

Jason Powers: It’s more than just credit monitoring?

Matt Breitenbac…: If you have kids, and you want to have certain websites not enabled, or see their search history, and all that stuff, that’s in there. If you get an alert that your credit is at risk, or what have you, you could automatically turn on and off your credit just by clicking the button in the app, versus having to call Equifax or whatever, to try to turn it off. Simply hit a button, and it locks your credit.

Jason Powers: Is this a value add, or an add on, separate product?

Matt Breitenbac…: No, this is a separate product.

Jason Powers: Okay.

Matt Breitenbac…: It generally runs, I can’t even remember the pricing off the top of my head.

Jason Powers: Does this require P&C license?

Matt Breitenbac…: This would be a P&C license.

Jason Powers: Okay, good.

Matt Breitenbac…: There’s an employee only plan and a family plan. The family plan allows you to add up to 10 people. There are employee paid voluntary rates. There are employer paid rates. We’re actually seeing that a lot of groups are finding that they’re already paying for a service like this, and they’re paying X amount more. They can bring in multiple services into one app, cut their costs, and pay for it all for their employees. We’ve had a lot of really quick success from this, and we are the only place that groups can get this, from an employer perspective.

Speaker 3: Got it.

Jason Powers: That’s great. From a Q4, just thinking through some of the smaller group, let’s call it dental, vision, life, disability type products, any submission deadline, things we need to be looking for in Q4?

Matt Breitenbac…: Thinking down to, let’s say less than 100 employees-

Jason Powers: Sure.

Matt Breitenbac…: Typically speaking, we want 30 days from the time that we’re told that this is sold, to the effective date. That way, we can guarantee everything’s up and running, especially dental and vision. Those are the last few days of winter break, and kids are going to the dentist, every time, someone can’t be found, because some submission happened late. In order to avoid those situations, just having ample time. As far as “Turnaround time,” I would say about seven days, with five business days, in reality, during peak season, from an under 100 underwriting perspective. Non peak season, it’s about three business days.

Jason Powers: We all see the volume, for sure.

Matt Breitenbac…: Yeah.

Jason Powers: Great. As brokers are heading out into that busy season, do you have any last minute tips for them, as they go off to the wild unknown?

Matt Breitenbac…: Don’t forget about us. I would say, set expectations, because more often than not, from our perspective, the problems arise when I don’t communicate something effectively, and I don’t set expectations effectively. That’s always my fourth quarter reminder to myself. If we set expectations, we’re going to have a better process down the road.

Jason Powers: Yeah.

Matt Breitenbac…: I think everybody can do a better job of setting expectations. Don’t worry, you set great expectations for what today was going to be.

Jason Powers: I appreciate that. I do appreciate you being here, and being part of our updates. If you’ve got group quotes that you’re reviewing now, and you want to see some ancillary proposals from MetLife, be sure to let Stephanie Douglas know in our office. If you’re working on renewals on the medical side, and you’re looking for ancillary proposals from MetLife, Theresa Agrusa in our office will be happy to get those for you. Matt, thank you so much for being here. Brokers, thank you for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time.

Matt Breitenbac…: Thanks for having me.

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