Dec 26, 2020
Group Health Insurance Alternative With Jennifer Quintard
Full Transcript Below
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (00:02):
Hello, and welcome again to the business of business podcast. I'm your host Roy. Today we have an awesome guest with us. She is, um, well, she's going to talk to us about something probably the second highest thing on people's lists that they love that especially entrepreneurs that they wake up and love to talk about every day, right behind our hour audit is health insurance, but, uh, her name is Jennifer [inaudible]. She is a licensed healthcare coverage expert with us health advisors. And I met Jennifer last week and we were talking about some things and she cleared up a lot of misconceptions that I've had. That's why I added her on the show because if I had these, I'm sure a lot of other business owners have one too. And that the main thing is that when, um, um, when you're small, when you're a company small or large, it's like, I always thought you had to have group coverage, but actually you can have individual coverage based on the individuals. So that's where we're going to kind of lead off Jennifer. Thanks for taking time out of your day and welcome to the show.
Hey Roy. Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. Um, it's lovely to, uh, discuss this with you. It's a subject I'm obviously kind of passionate about because I got into healthcare and the health insurance business, um, coming from a rather different field, but one still where I wanted to have an impact on folks. I wanted to let them know, um, you know, that that health insurance involves everything and everyone, no matter where you are, what you do, whatever your profession, if you're not healthy, uh, you can't do much of anything. So, um, and knowing that
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (01:50):
If you don't mind, before we jump off into the health insurance part of this, uh, tell us the back, tell us your background and where you came from. Interesting story.
Oh, well, sure. So I spent the first 20 years of my professional life as an opera singer. I sang professionally for 20 years in the United States and regional houses as well as in Europe, in Germany and Switzerland and Austria. So that was, that was a really fun time. You know, it was, um, a lonely one, you know, it's not as glamorous as everybody thinks I can promise you that. But, um, you know, it, I was always a self-employed person. So I was going from job to job, um, living out of a suitcase. And, um, of course the first thing that always was in my mind was, am I healthy? If I get sick or have a cold, I don't get paid and I can't sing. So, um, you know, that was always, uh, foremost in my mind. And then it, it just has carried is just come with me over the years.
Um, and in a way that when I left the singing world and decided to work in a corporate environment, uh, whereby I was actually at the Dallas opera for four years at their artistic services, uh, associate, I was around artists. I was helping them. I knew it, what they needed, obviously to try to get, give them the optimal, uh, opportunity to have the best performance, uh, that included their health. And it may be taking them to the doctor as well. Um, and you know, the, the bottom line is this country is in a health insurance crisis, you know, especially with COVID going on. Unfortunately, um, a lot of people are out of work. They're out of jobs, they've let their health insurance go. Um, and it's really, really a sad state of affairs. And, and because of the cost of this pandemic, um, you know, rates have increased.
I mean, you can go on any website. There's lots two that come to mind. Uh, one is health, sherpa.com, and the other one is healthcare.gov. And you can actually go in there, put in your zip code and your age. And if you had to be the sole person to provide you and your family for insurance, you'll see what exactly what it costs. And those costs have increased 30 to 40%. So wow. And a lot of folks, I mean, it can be the, the cost of a mortgage and, you know, that's absolutely ridiculous. Um, so that's why I was interested in entering the private insurance arena. Um, private insurance is pretty much that, you know, we, uh, us health advisors is a, um, a wonderful company. We are owned by United healthcare. We've been in business over 50 years. Um, and the products that we have while they are exclusive United healthcare products, um, they're excellent. And they are based on a person's health alone. So if, if a person, a family, a business owner, even if you have one or two employees, if they're relatively healthy and I can approve them and get them qualified, they will enjoy a great network. This is on the largest PPO network in the country right now, which is United healthcare choice plus, um, and they can expect to pay less for their premiums and deductibles because they're healthy and they're from a healthier pool.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (05:21):
Yeah. Yeah. And I think that is the one thing that we were talking a little bit about is that if, uh, if I'm a company and I want to get a group umbrella policy, those premiums for everybody will be based off of an aggregate or a pool of everybody's underwriting or everybody's health health in that company where this kind of provide, I guess this is a way to segregate and, um, get lower coverage or lower prices for those that are healthy. And, um, you don't really penalize everybody. I mean, there's so many benefits to this. I, I was because I've never thought about a company being able to, uh, well, the individual being able to get the coverage and then the company being able to actually still supplement that pain part of it just like they do in their group health plans.
Absolutely. That is that, that is absolutely the way it works. Um, and like I said, you know, a lot of people just don't know, they're not aware that there are other options and that you, you know, we all have our, maybe our brokers or our friends or, uh, referrals that, you know, send us to, uh, brokers who, who do have those public options. But again, remember those public options are immediate acceptance. So that means those. Unfortunately, if you have pre-existing conditions, if you're currently dealing with any cancers or lupus or diabetic or whatever the case may be, um, you know, that that plan will accept you and you will, you will have insurance and you'll be covered. The main difference is private insurance is underwritten, meaning you must be approved first to have this policy, um, you know, the underwriter's role, look at your medical history or your background and, and what has, what you've been through. Um, but again, we figure why not reward folks who are healthy and, uh, give them options that are less expensive,
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (07:16):
Right. And not assume that that trans, you know, when you get the big group umbrella policy, that's going to accept anybody. I'm sure that means the rates are typically going to be a lot higher than if you look at underwriting each individual within that company. That is correct. Yeah. So, uh, this is a great option to look at for business owners, especially the smaller business owners to get, to be able to help mostly help, cause they're not going to offer the plan, but they can encourage the employee to get the private health insurance, and then they can still make a contribution, uh, to help them pay the premiums as they would with the group insurance
Sure thing. Yeah. And one, one great, uh, uh, thing I like about the USL, uh, policies, um, in certain States, um, the policies come with an association, which is based on the American independent business coalition or the AIBC. And what that is, is a group of, um, small business owners who, um, can reap benefits from this association primarily, primarily because they are small business. And some of those perks include, um, uh, attack, obviously a tax write-off for paying their premiums every every month. Um, also a lot of professional benefits tax talk, employee talk, um, finance talks. So in other words, a small business owner, if they're having, if they don't have an HR manager, um, and they maybe just need a professional opinion about maybe an employee that they're not sure what to do with, or how to handle a situation, they can pick up the phone and just speak to an HR professional, um, right then and there, and there is no charge for that.
Uh, same with finance talk if they need access to a financial advisor. So as far as, you know, business benefits or business benefits, as well as, uh, personal benefits, um, some of those include, you know, a discount flower delivery or moving discounts, um, identity theft, protection, roadside assistance, things like that. Um, so all those, those things are, are, are there to benefit the small business owner. Um, and as far as the personal, the, the main one that I really love, um, right now with the coronavirus, everyone is reluctant to go and sit in a crowded doctor's office, telehealth and telemedicine has just taken off tremendously. Um, this, uh, association gives the person, uh, the ability to call day or night, no matter what time it is unlimited use to have at a video appointment with a physician, a board certified physician, uh, this doctor can call in whatever, you know, antibiotics or steroids for creams, that if you get in some poison Oak, you can go, you know, have an appointment right there just as easily as you can, uh, personal to person in the office and get it taken care of. And, you know, you don't have to leave the comfort of your home. Uh, so you know, all those, those great perks are, you know, they're, uh, they're great to have. And a lot of people, again, you know, they don't know that they're available out there.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (10:20):
Right. Well, and that's awesome about the video, because, you know, to tell if I've got poison Ivy, you really don't have to see me in person. And then typically there, you know, what I think about is my time I have the time I have to drive to the doctor's office, I have the time I have to wait in the waiting room. And then I happen to have my weight back in the little exam room. And so, you know, you can kill an easy, a couple of hours just going through a doctor's visit. Now
That's true. But all that to say, you know, obviously that the MD live is, is great for minor things. You know, I'm not saying don't go to the doctor if you have something major happening. Uh, but obviously for the, for the sore throats and bronchitis, isn't pink eyes and all that kind of stuff, you know, that that's a great tool, especially for young kiddos.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (11:05):
Yeah, no, that is great. So, um, the other thing that was interesting about this concept is the portability, because if, if you, if I'm working for somebody that's paying for part of my premium and I either get laid off or, uh, take another job, this insurance goes with me. I don't have to make any changes. The only thing is if the employer was paying a portion of my, a premium, of course, I would have to pick all of that up. But the nice thing is, it's like, well, you don't have to change, go to Cobra. You don't have to change. If you go to another employer to see what they've got, it's just a, it's a very simple transition for the insured.
Absolutely. And that's another great thing about these private. They are. They allow you portability, you can certainly take it with you, uh, whether you keep the job or not. Um, they're also auto renewable. So if you like the plan, you want to stay on it, uh, you certainly have that option. Um, and there's also coverage on and off the job. You know, a lot of folks, um, you know, if they're working at a, at a company and, you know, if there is no workman's comp offered or whatever, um, this plan will cover you on and off the job. And it's, it is a nationwide PPO. So you can go on vacation with your family and leave your home state. And if something were to happen to you or your family, you would absolutely be protected and have coverage. And that's, that's a very important thing that a lot of folks don't know, um, uh, for instance, you know, blue cross blue shield of Texas, that's why it's called that, um, you know, that is meant to protect you in the state of Texas. So, uh, you know, I would be a little, little worried, you know, if, if I, if I did we're on that kind of plan and we wanted to go to Europe or go somewhere else and get some, um, uh, need healthcare that that would plan would actually pay for anything. So, uh, that you know, that cause, uh, peace of mind there, uh, as far as the portability and the nationwide usage.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (13:10):
Yeah. And what about like, uh, you can explain the difference in the, maybe the PPO versus the HMO, because I know it's been a while I had, I think I was on an HMO. I went to a hospital as an emergency come to find out that the emergency doctor, that service the hospital that I went to in my plan, wasn't under it, wasn't in that network. So it ended up being paid, but it was just a hassle because, you know, most lay people think if this hospital's covered than the people I'm going to see in this hospital are going to be on my plan as well. And that is so not necessarily true.
Yeah. You know, that that's a whole other, um, issue when it comes to healthcare people, you know, I think they might have a general idea, you know, that HMO and P but the difference between the two, but the reality is, um, hospitals, doctor offices, or doctor, group offices, um, you know, even freestanding your urgent care facilities, they all contract differently with insurance companies. And so they may, you know, have a con an HMO contracts say, um, just a top of my head, Baylor Scott and white up here in grapevine. You know, they may have a contract with an insurance company that, that is an HMO company, meaning that they will, they prefer to have the patients see the doctors that are accept this insurance. And then if the doctor is out of network, then yes, unfortunately the customer will pay more. So what that is, is a way to force the customer to go where insurance wants them to go. And that can be frankly, just in, today's spread out, especially here in the DFW metroplex, just inconvenient, because what if you may, you may live in Dallas, but your plan will only cover the hospital that's, you know, in Hillsborough or something like that. I mean, you know, that that could be a hardship for some folks and not have to a hospital close by, or have to maybe show up in an emergency situation and then have the, the hospital say, sorry, we don't take this insurance, you know, and then you're, you're stuck. So, um,
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (15:26):
Well I think in today's, uh, mobile or even virtual environment, you know, a lot of, we're not all on the same site anymore. So I think this becomes a particularly more important for the fact that, you know, as I live in Texas, my employer could be in any of the other States and the us. And so if they've only got insurance, that's either really good in that state or in that city, then you're kind of left out where with doing the individual policies. That's not going to be, um, it's not going to be an obstacle at all.
Right, right. So, you know, there, there are lots of things to consider, you know, and, uh, uh, and it's just my job. I, I, I'm there to just help. I'm trying to, you know, if I have folks that call me and even just need some advice, I'm here to help and, and, and, you know, clear the way in any way I can, uh, because, you know, being an underwritten coverage plan, I can't help everyone. So even if, you know, I, I come across someone who maybe is, is diagnosed with diabetes or has it a condition that my plan doesn't cover. You know, I do my very best to at least put the point them in the direction of someone who will take care of them. And I do have some trusted brokers that I love and trust that I, I know that they'll take good care of them if, if they had to show them some, some options. Um,
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (16:53):
And that brings up another point, uh, as we talked, is that when, when you purchase insurance through you, you get you even after the sale, you're not just there for the sale. You're there follow up. And I will, um, I'll just relate a story that I had happened to me, uh, just yesterday, very timely to this talk. But, uh, so, um, my insurance, I had, uh, called the, who I thought was the inch. I thought they did manage the insurance and the, uh, flexible spending account. So I talked to them a few months ago, had some out of pocket expenses called the lady. She gave me all the instructions on how to file it, and then didn't hear from them. And then, you know, later this week it's been two months, I finally in, they were not helpful. They were very surly and just unfriendly.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (17:45):
And so, yeah, it was terrible. And so then, uh, this week I get a notice, well, this, uh, this expenses and coverage that you will have to pay it all out of pocket, like, well, I paid it out of pocket. That's why I was fine. So anyway, long story short, I called back to the 800 number and come to find out, you know, the health and the health side of the people don't really know what's going on, transferred to the flexible spending people. They proceed to say, yeah, you manage some flexible spending, just not be your company. So the original representative that I had talked to did not get the whole story. Right. And then of course they just, weren't not friendly people. So that's the other awesome thing about, um, about going through the individual coverage coverage is the, you know, you buy the plan, you get you, and from what you can tell me, you're there to, you know, if I next week or something, if I have a problem and don't know where to go or where to turn, I can always reach out and talk to you. Is that correct?
That is, that is also another great perk of, of having an independent agent work for you, independent agents. Uh, I, I'm not a broker, so I, I don't have access to all of the plans out there. Um, I only, uh, offer, you know, United healthcare plans through us health, but, um, I tell my clients, you know, uh, I'm putting me in your phone because it's just signing. The dotted line is only the beginning of our relationship. Um, I do really want my clients to know that they can call on me if there is a question or a hesitation or a medication that, that, that is ridiculously expensive. I have ways that I can help them find, um, you know, less expensive options. And, you know, health insurance is, is, is a living thing. Um, every one of us gets up and goes to work or, or encounters things in our daily lives.
And we never know what's going to happen from one moment to the next. And so, um, if I, you know, if I'm not sleeping, I usually always answer the phone and, and try to assist because, uh, you know, there could be times, you know, when you're in a crisis or if you are not sure where to go and your initial thought is to go to the emergency room. Um, I need to know about it and I can actually guide you because of course, if it's a heart attack and you're bleeding to death yes. Go to the ER. But if it is something that maybe an urgent care or urgent care could take care of you for, it's, that's a much less expensive option. And I could actually call ahead. I can actually find out who the doctor is on call, you know, and, and just verify, you know, um, about the insurance for you.
I mean, that's my job. I'm not just here to, you know, sell a policy and say goodbye. Um, because if I didn't do that, Roy, I, you know, my business would suffer. I, you know, I want people to depend on me, rely on me and know, you know, I'm here just to take your money and sell you something because I, you know, that, that does me no good. And I couldn't go to sleep well at night. If I knew that I could have done something for someone and let them go and be in a situation where they could potentially overspend and put themselves in the worst position. Um, and as an agent, you know, that that is an integrity factor that all agents should have. Um, because if we were to be reckless, I would lose my license and I certainly don't want that to happen.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (21:25):
Exactly well, and it makes such a huge difference that you have a vested interest in, you know, you get paid on commission for what you sell. So you want to service that customer because you want me to renew that next year versus the 800 cost centers is like, you know, those people come and go, they don't care if you have insurance with this company tomorrow, next year, whatever. So definitely a plus that somebody is going to be vested in not only, you know, my health care, but also invested in, uh, you know, wanting to keep me happy as a clown too.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, and do you know, um, it's, it's, uh, it's a great opportunity for me, you know, as I said, coming from a singing background, I was constantly gone, you know, and, uh, I actually, uh, lucked out, I suppose, you know, we're, uh, insurance is something that I can actually do from anywhere. Uh, and so being confined at home, um, as we all have been lately, um, you know, this, I have no excuse not to be there for my, for my clients if they need it.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (22:30):
Right, right. No, and it, you know, it's kind of interesting the transition, because it's nice that you kind of found something you were passionate about because you lived on the other side of that, about not having the insurance or questionable, if you could use what you have, where you are. So
That, and also, you know, I, when I was a younger, uh, when I was, I would say I was maybe 23, um, my I'm an only child. So my, my parents, um, were, you know, they're very protective of me, of course, but my father, um, unfortunately came down with a cancer called multiple myeloma when I was 23 years old. Um, and that was a, uh, a devastation to our family. Um, and fortunately he died rather quickly and after all efforts of, uh, chemotherapy and radiation and surgeries, and, uh, unfortunately he didn't make it, but, um, I could see the weight of that on my mom. And, um, you know, she was a teacher and so she had TRS, uh, teacher insurance. And, um, while it did, you know, it did cover all of it. I mean, some of it, not all of it was covered and it was still, uh, a financial burden and, um, our top plan, which is called secure advantage.
Um, we actually, uh, and again, I look at us health. We are the only alternative to a major medical then Obama or ACA or the marketplace plans. And by what I mean, major medical, if you pay your deductible, whatever it may be Obama or ACA plans for individuals right now are running close to $9,000, 8,800 or whatever, they have increased from 8,100, but if you pay it, then you're going to know you're 100% taken care of. So that is a major medical policy. Us health also has these options, but our deductibles are, are, they can be tailored. So you don't have to be given, Hey, here's your deductible of 8,800. You can actually choose between a $5,000 deductible, a 7,500 deductible or a 10,000. And again, knowing that you're 100% covered is, is the, is the best thing in the world. You are, you have no, no worries.
If I have any other financial burdens coming your way, because you know, the plan will pay out. And, um, in my mother's and my father's case, you know, that, unfortunately that was a burden for them. And I just decided then and there, you know, I, you know, I loved living in Europe and yes, they do have free healthcare there. And there is something to be said about that. I know that we have a lot of folks up in arms about that, and they can call it socialist all day long, but even though the taxes are higher, it is such a relief to know you can go and be taken care of and not be billed a hundreds of thousands of dollars. Um, so, you know, from a personal standpoint, uh, it is definitely something I feel very passionate about.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (25:48):
Yeah. And that's, uh, an interesting point because, you know, I've been fortunate enough in my life, not to have ever been put in this position, but I think there are so many Americans now that you're put in a position, if somebody gets sick, even if it's fairly minor, uh, you know, they have to think about, well, where are we going to take them? If somebody's gonna accept us, do we have enough money? You know, what are the ramifications of all that? It's correct. Especially if you have kids. I mean, it's just not a decision that you want to have to think about. And then kind of the other part, uh, you know, talking about, um, your family is, you know, we've gone through some, uh, my girlfriend's, mother's had some issues of late and, you know, trying to navigate the system. So it's, sometimes it's not even the financial burden, but it's like when you're in crisis, that's not, when you want to have to call 12 people or find out that this path we're on is the wrong one. We have to change our, you know, whatever all those intricacies are. It would be nice to be able to reach out to somebody that's like yourself. That's educated of the plan because unfortunately I'm a call center. People they know probably enough to get by, but they don't know everything inside and out. Like, I'm sure that you do where you, you know, you can really help your clients navigate the system. Right.
Right. And, you know, again, um, underwritten coverage, you know, as most insurances it's based on your age, you know, and, uh, we are all aging every year. So, uh, yes, insurance does increase a little bit every year. Um, but as far as, you know, recommending things for my clients, you know, I, I do a thorough analysis when I speak to someone and, uh, you know, I, I like to know, you know, what are, what are their histories, do they have, um, did their parents have a history of some sort of cancers or anything? So based on their answers, I will be able to determine then the best option, because, you know, especially if they are in their middle age, you know, if they're approaching 50 or 55, I'm not going to suggest a plan for that person that I would maybe recommend for a young, healthy 22 year old. Um, because obviously you're, you're coming to an age, you know, parts don't last forever. And I want to be able to put them in the best possible shape insurance wise, so that if something were to happen, they would have the coverage they need.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (28:21):
Right. That's awesome. Well, Jennifer, we're going to wrap it up. Is there anything else that you want to add, uh, before we start closing up?
No, but Roy, thank you so much for inviting me on, I do want to tell folks, you know, open enrollment is happening right now. That means open enrollment for those folks who are going on, uh, any kind of, um, public site or looking at health plans. Um, let me help you because those plans, you know, can be, um, I always tell folks, you need to read closely in between every single line to know exactly what you're getting and why put yourself through that. If I can help you do that. So, um,
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (29:04):
If you wouldn't, before we, uh, I'm gonna give you a, uh, let you put your contact information out. But one question I kind of like to wrap up with this. So what is a tool that you use either in your work or your personal life? It could be a tool. It could be a habit and a ritual. What is something that you do on a daily basis that you just don't feel that you can do without, or that's very important to your daily routine?
Well, I, I always have lived by this, this mantra of, you know, you can't ever hope for something more than you're willing to work for it. And, uh, you know, that, that has served me in my singing life. It's served me here. And, um, and it, it, it serves itself when I, in my relationships with my clients, uh, you know, I want to earn their respect and earn their trust. And, um, that's what I try to do on a daily basis.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (29:58):
That's great. All right. So tell everybody, uh, I can reach out and get ahold of you. Uh, again, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to join us. So,
Absolutely well, you can certainly call my, my cell. My cell is my work phone number, and that is area code (817) 797-6319. Um, you can also see me on the U S uh, health advisers website. Uh, if you just wanted to go to www U S H a m.com/ Jennifer Quinn. Quintard so let me know if I can help anybody. I'd be happy to do what I can.
Roy - The Business of Business Podcast (30:41):
All right. Yeah. I'll just recommend everybody, uh, give Jennifer a call and, uh, you know, check out what she's got. I think she'll be able to help a lot of people that kind of felt like they had no where to turn. So that's great. All right, well, uh, we appreciate you, uh, appreciate you listening to the show. Again, this is Roy with the business of business podcast. You can find us at www dot the business, the business podcast.com. We're also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So, uh, look forward to, um, the, for the next episode, be sure and share with your friends, everybody out there needs to hear this message and, uh, you know, we'll be able to help some, uh, company owners as well as some individuals, uh, uh, get, get the right coverage for themselves. So any white, give Jennifer a call until next time. This is Roy. Thank you a lot. Thank you, Roy.