Ameriplan

Discussion in 'General Insurance Agent Discussions' started by midwestbroker, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. midwestbroker
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    If I remember right, Ameriplan is a MLM company right?

    I have this agent wih them wanting me to sign up to sell it.

    2 Reasons I am looking at it:

    1. A discount dental plan to offer my clients.

    2. I have a source for illegal immigrants (lets not go over the top on this issue) who want some type of insurance but cannot afford (or who do not have a social security number) regular insruace. This place will put thier kids on heathwave (a Kansas medicaid type program for kids) but not do anything for the adults. I have premission to advertise there but all the carriers I know of need a social security number. Ameriplan does not.

    Any thoughts and ideas? I know I brought up illegal immigrants, but if they are here and not being deported, as far as I am concerned, they are potential clients. I am an equal opportunity agent!
     
  2. Crabcake Johnny
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    Let's put this issue to bed: Anyone is allowed to buy any product they want in this country as long as they fully understand two things:

    1) The details about the product
    2) Their options

    If you want to buy a $500 car out of the paper with 250,000 miles and the owner says the transmission is trashed then go buy it. You know what you're buying.

    I don't care who buys Ameriplan for dental or the medical discount as long as they know exactly how it works and what other options they might have.

    Problems occur when reps portray the Ameriplan medical discount as insurance or better than insurance. It's also a problem is they qualify for insurance but that's all you offer.

    So let's wrap this up:

    1) They don't qualify for insurance
    2) They don't qualify for any state or government program
    3) They understand how the plan actually works
    4) They understand the potential liability

    Then it's all good.
     
  3. NHB_MMA
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    I was with Ameriplan on two occasions several years ago. When it first hit the market, I could sell it all day long. I had never heard of a discount plan...and neither had anyone else. Times have changed. Now everyone on the friggin' planet has a discount plan they market.

    Here in Pennsylvania, let's say an exam and cleaning usually costs around $50-$70. When Ameriplan first hit the market they used a purple fee schedule with had an $8 exam and $20 cleaning, so you explain to the prospect that they'll save money if their whole family uses the plan regularly, along with the visions benefits which usually suck on any insurance plan for whatever reason.

    In 2001, I was again selling Ameriplan. Times had clearly changed. I did okay, but now discount plans were everywhere and there was no more introducing a unique concept to the prospect. Dentists had grown resistant to them, because of the sheer number of them and they grew tired of reducing their rates for services. Once that teal fee schedule hit and the exam and cleaning was now $48 instead of $28, it clearly was not as good of a deal for the client. Everything fizzled out.

    I got out before they unveiled their discount medical or pet care programs. They had hyped them for months and delayed their released numerous times and I thought those new concepts might be my saving grace, but I eventually got burned out and took a 9-5.

    The customer service and company is solid. The savings your clients will see are questionable. I would take a look at Care Entree. If you have any interest in recruting or working the MLM aspect of it, it has much more solid comp plan and I can go into details if you'd like. Obviously, there is serious money to be made in recruiting if it's your thing, but if it doesn't matter then it's not such a big deal. However, your Ameriplan recruiter will pressure you to recruit because he makes NOTHING off your sales unless you do a minimum level of recruiting. Some people just like to sell and hate to do MLM recruiting. How well designed is an MLM that requires recruiting from everyone?
     
  4. Crabcake Johnny
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    It was only a matter of time that some bastard would take the MLM concept and use it for health care. That's exactly what this country needs - unlicensed MLM reps talking to people about health plans and health insurance.

    There are exception to every rule. The exception is a very good Ameriplan rep fully explaining how the medical discount card works.

    The rule is that MLM managers trash health insurance pointing out pre-ex condition riders and rate increases and actually convince newbies that it's BETTER to have a discount card then regular insurance. They go over NOTHING with clients and outright lie about steep "80%" discount for hospitalization that clients will never see.

    No Maryland hospitals are allowed to accept any discount cards.

    http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/documents/discountplansbrochure05-06.pdf
     
  5. Tim Eubanks
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  6. midwestbroker
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    I am not looking to do any type of MLM deal. I just want an inexpensive discount dental plan, and a plan that you do not need a social secuirty number for.

    I plan on letting the customer know everything that they are getting.

    The plan is only $11.95 for discount dental, Rx, vision and chiropratic.

    I used to have a discount dental plan for myself and I paid $12.00 per month just for dental.

    Are there similar programs out there? I am not set on Ameriplan.
     
  7. Crabcake Johnny
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    Great article. I'd personally like to see Ameriplan's medical discount card business shut down nationally. That article outlines the largest con they have going - that almost no doctors honor the plan. The network search you run is a blatant lie. For example, months ago I ran a search and found my dermatologist and wife's OB in the Ameriplan network. Contacted both and both said they had never heard of Ameriplan and do not accept the cards.

    The second con they have going? The "up to" savings. Although they tout "up to 70%" it's more likely that you actually save about 10%. They DO NOT have negotiated rates with doctors!!!! The doctor can and will charge their full rate.
     
  8. NHB_MMA
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    Well, it's been said before, but most insurance companies basically work on an MLM-type compensation structure, though they would never call it that.

    You're right about that. The potential for abuse and scamming is virtually unlimited. However, we already have a problem with licensed reps selling shitty plans that are actual insurance (I'm thinking of an organization you and I started out with---though we didn't know any better). Some of the worst plans a licensed agent could put together, such as the lowest room & board amounts with the lowest surgical coverage, probably couldn't stand up to a good discount card, truth be told.

    Discount cards basically allow a person to access an administrative network without having real reimbursement behind them. They have three purposes. First, if a person needs to have some care that is not covered by insurance, they can be beneficial. Second, if a person cannot afford insurance but has a plan laid out to eventually pay-off their bills, they could be used. Last, they have some value for those that self-insure and are actually putting back reserves in anticipation of paying off the medical expenses, similar to an HSA.

    They are NOT a product with widespread need and demand. A person will see far better results by selling discount cards for dental and eye than medical. And it goes without saying that anyone that takes a person off a major medical plan or HMO telling them a discount card makes better sense should be in prison.
     
  9. Tim Eubanks
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    It;s a funny thing though,
    The Bloom Twins actually got their start in the life insurance biz.
    Selling for combined, IIRC.

    Alot of chargebacks midwest broker, I know I was there, I don't think it will be worth your while. The type of client you will have with AP will pick up the service only to drop it after they use it or if they deem that money is needed for something else
     
  10. NHB_MMA
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    It does suck that there are no providers in MT and other areas. In the Pittsburgh area, they had over 400 dentists when I used to work it. At one time, it was a good product, before every company on the planet got into it.

    While the article was a little unfair in painting the company and plan, I do like that law that says a provider must be within 60 miles of any customer.
     

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