Assurant - replacing all "old" plans

Dec 26, 2007

  1. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    So - does my book of Assurant business vaporize? Up until July of last year I was selling the Preferred 2000 series. I just got a letter that all of those plans will be replaced - as in everyone gets a new policy, new ID cards and new benefits.....upgraded benefits.

    Well....I know what that means for the rate. They will not receive renewal rate options, just the new plan.

    Letter to all clients who have had an Assurant plan for 12 months:

    Dear *****

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN

    In and effort to keep your health coverage up-to-date and to provide you with a plan that reflects today's health insurance environment, your current individual health plan is being replaced with one of our newest individual medical plans effective ******. Your current plan will be discontinued.

    Your new plan will be comparable to your current plan and your new premium amount will be guaranteed for 12 months. Some of the additional updated features of your new plan may also include:

    * NO deductible for generic drugs with only a $15 copay
    * Increased Wellness benefits
    * Savings through better network discounts
    * A higher Lifetime Maximum benefit for added protection

    Rest assured, your coverage will continue without any interruptions and your policy number will remain the same. There is no additional paperwork or underwriting for you to worry about.

    In addition, the pre-existing condition limit will no longer apply to anyone on the plan who has been covered for 12 months or more. Any dollar amounts that have already been applied to your deductible or any plan maximums will carryover to your new plan. The new plan will continue to provide you with peace of mind and the solid health insurance protection that you expect from Assurant Health.


    This is my take on this:

    "Dear client. Thank you for your purchase of our Chevrolet. We have recently upgraded our Chevrolets to include many new features therefore you car is being replaced with a brand new car!!!! Your current car payment is $250 per month. Your new payment effective February 1st will be $420. Thank you for doing business with Chevrolet."

    Am I reading this wrong? I'm trying to get some clarification on this - waiting for a call back.
     
  2. policy doctor
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    policy doctor Guru

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    Health insurance has always been a "screw you" proposition since the early 80's. Everybody gets screwed here....agent, client, and even the co's with state and federal mandates, high inflation in healthcare costs and more utilization of policies by a sick public.


    It's hard to keep a stable book of business because co's come and go, underwriting issues, and of course, the RATES. Even the senior market is evolving into a bureaucratic blob of sorts.

    LTC is not any different.....they have changed to higher rates and tougher underwriting with fewer co's.

    So far, only stable policies are those limited ones like cancer and accident.
     
  3. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    All carriers rotate old plans off the books and replace with new ones. Truth be known, they would like to turnover their block every 3 years but are willing to let most of the older policies stay 5 yrs or so before they give them the boot.

    There doesn't seem to be as much turmoil in the old MSA plans. Probably because even though that block has deteriorated it hasn't deteriorated as far or as quickly as the low deductible, copay plans.

    Since I sell almost exclusively high deductible, no copay plans, I don't anticipate having problems with giving old plans (and clients) the boot in the future.
     
    somarco, Dec 26, 2007
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  4. TXINSURANCE
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    TXINSURANCE Guru

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    Depends on the carrier - I was on an old MSA plan , and it was blocked out and over priced when the new HSA plans rolled out, fortunately we were healthy enough to switch.
     
  5. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    I haven't seen as much churning of MSA to HSA but there will be some. Once a plan stays on the books much longer than 3 yrs you gotta figure the carrier (or the policy holder if they healthy) is going to get hosed.

    The HDHP plans don't have as much carrier exposure, even if it has been 3+ yrs since you went through underwriting. A lot of them would just as soon you leave, or go through underwriting, after 3 yrs just to make sure they are not going to bite off a big one.

    Of course there are carriers out there who have no idea how to age their block and manage it.
     
    somarco, Dec 26, 2007
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  6. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    My take on the specifics of the wording of this letter is they lost a lawsuit somewhere. While losing one isn't a big deal, it sometimes exposes a hole in the policy wording, where it's simpler to shutdown that policy and put them into a new one.

    I see it happen in the P&C world pretty frequently, though they usually don't bother with people already on the policies, they just stop writing that particular policy in the effected market.

    Now, try to get them to pay you new business commission on all of the 'replaced' policies :)

    Dan
     
    djs, Dec 26, 2007
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  7. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    That's an odd conclusion. What is the basis for that statement?

    No, why should they?
     
    somarco, Dec 26, 2007
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  8. TXINSURANCE
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    I am confused how you all sell Assurant in the first place.

    Put benefits and price side to side with BCBS (of any state), Humana, Aetna, Unicare, and they get beat hands down 99% of the time.

    Some of their plans have annual max and out patient max, which I refuse to sell. Is that what you are selling? Maybe their HSA is competative in some markets?

    99% of my clients ask for and purchase co pays, call me crazy I go with the flow... On Co-pay plans I am sitting here tonight running Assurant comparison in 10 of the states I represent they are not even on the radar in terms of competative pricing, even HSA - here in Texas a 52 year old couple BCBS was HALF their price, co-pay plans aren't close either.

    I would love to know what Assurant products you could possibly sell in any volume, as every time we do a side by side they are not even remotely close in pricing.

    I really don't want to argue benefits of other companies - but pure price, they are very high right now across the board.

    p.s. And no they should not pay you "new business' commissions on plan change - that isn't the deal... Go put them on another carrier if you need to play that game (if they qualify).
     
  9. salpro22
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    salpro22 Guru

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    Would you like to role play :)
    If you sell on price, then YES, most of the time BCBS wins hands down, but what do you do with people who are pissed off at BCBS or do not want plans with caps. All the BCBS companies up in PA, MD, VA, SC, WV have caps. Aetna is over-priced in MD, but very good in PA, and so so in VA and SC. WV is a PITA with any carrier. I'm not up to speed on Humana yet because the regional down in Georgia has yet to get back to me, so time will tell about them...

    Unicare, GR and Assurant ALL have plans with annual maxes and out patient maxes. Their HSA rocks, as does their benefits and rate lock guarantee. Max and Coremed are very good for people who have pre-existing conditions that need things covered and want that coverage. The piece of mind off the CSD is a great selling tool.

    I used to have an Assurant HSA, but now I have a GR HSA, so that will tell you something.

    As do mine, but I normally talk about 80% of them into HSA or high deductible plans. Assurant is horrible when it comes to copay plans, but that is not their market.

    Sounds an awful lot like the HBD or e-heath's version of selling insurance. Their is nothing wrong with selling on price, but you cannot ask who sells Assurant when you're strictly looking at price and not benefits. I like to give everybody a piece of the action, but as far as BCBS is concerned, they dominate mostly any market and I'm not a big fan of monopolies as it conflicts with my free market thinking.

    How many people on this board go over home health care or DME benefits with people? I bet if you asked 100 agents in a room, probably 5 would know what those initials means and 1-2 would have the benefits memorized. I doubt you bought your A8 because it was the cheapest.........


    You have to compare benefits in most markets for Assurant. If you want the cheapest plans, then that more than likely means you will be selling GR, BCBS or Unicare. Personally, I would love to know how you or other people are able to sell plans with riders because my track record with that isn't very smooth.
     
    salpro22, Dec 27, 2007
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  10. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's the statement


    Now, I could be wrong, I don't have any inside knowledge of what drove this, but I tend to read these types of statements with a cynical eye. Something that says 'reflects todays health insurance environment' leads me to believe that the change in the environment is legal driven, not customer driven.

    To me, this isn't an issue. Businesses need to protect themselves legally, I understand this. Insurance companies could pay every claim presented to them, someone would sue them still saying the premiums are to high. They have to protect themselves.

    Dan

    P.S. I know they won't pay new business commission, just had a passing thought of a huge check, but then I remembered it's almost impossible to write Assurant in California, and I don't have any Assurant policies on the books.
     
    djs, Dec 27, 2007
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