Sales Self Doubt

How To Deal With Sales Self Doubt

It's a natural thing in every salesman's life to ask themselves: "What am I doing in the sales world?" or "Am I ever going to sell again?". When you see that your calendar's not as full as it's supposed to be, or another deal drops off, you start thinking you're just not good enough.

This emotional roller coaster is a commonplace state among both new and experienced salesmen. When it comes to self-doubt, knowledge or past achievements don't matter. Even sales gurus whom you admire and learn from, admit that they feel insecure when things don't go the way they planned. However, successful salesmen know how to identify this state, control it, and use it for their advantage. 

In this episode of Heads Up Adviser, the host John Sbrocco and Senior Sales Executive Zachary Jones reveal their secret sauce for everyday motivation and strategies their mentors taught them along the way. 

You'll learn how to abstract yourself from the unfortunate outcomes of your sales process, break down big goals into small steps, and why doing things that drive fear is right for you. 

Here's what we cover: 

  1. How to control your focus;
  2. What does a pipeline problem have to do with your insecurity; 
  3. The real way to change your emotional state; 
  4. Turning insecure questions into motivating answers; 
  5. Why self-doubt brings you the best time to set bigger goals. 

To a better you! 

John W. Sbrocco & Craig Lack

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The Ranch with Ed Jacobson


The Ranch With Ed Jacobson  |   Episode 1

Wonder what 45 years of experience in healthcare look like? 

In the latest episode, the "Heads Up Adviser" team takes you to the Texas Ranch with Ed Jacobson, where he talks about the origin and purpose of self-funded plans. 

You'll dive deep into the specifics of insurance business back in 1975, get advice on closing deals, learn the massive benefit of self-funded plans, and be able to improve your sales pitch. 

Here's what we cover: 

  1. Throwback to 1975 health insurance; 
  2. The real reason why employers move to self-managed plans; 
  3. How your competitors can help you in growing your business;
  4. Family Monthly Deductible in simple words. 

To a better you! 

John W. Sbrocco & Craig Lack

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Trump Administration Moves To Make Health Care Costs More Transparent

Trump Administration Moves To Make Health Care Costs More Transparent

Shopping around for the best deal on a medical X-ray or a new knee? The Trump administration has a plan for that.

On Monday, it proposed new rules that would provide consumers far more detail about the actual prices hospitals charge insurers. It comes amid growing calls from consumer advocates, who argue transparency can help tackle rising health care costs. But the plan also has the potential to overwhelm patients with data.

Under the proposal, hospitals would be required to post the prices they negotiate with every insurer for just about every service, drug and supply they provide to patients, starting Jan. 1.

The move follows an executive order issued by the president in June. It immediately drew sharp opposition from hospitals and insurers, who made it clear they plan to fight the proposal — all the way to court if necessary.

Final rules might differ from the proposal — and the courts will be asked to weigh in. But the move could help lift the secrecy that has long surrounded what patients, employers and insurers pay for medical services.

“As deductibles rise, patients have the right to know the price of health care services so they can shop around for the best deal,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, who announced the proposal Monday.

The proposal, however, raises at least three questions:

Will Consumers Use It?

Some consumers will take advantage of price information, although maybe not many, said experts who have studied patient behavior.

The amounts would be different from what currently exists on websites run by some insurers, hospitals and private businesses because they would be actual negotiated prices, not area averages, estimates or hospital-set “charges,” which are usually far higher than the negotiated rates.

Even so, “a lot of things can get in way of patients using the data,” said Lovisa Gustafsson, assistant vice president at the Commonwealth Fund.

There may be only one hospital in town, for example, or patients might be reluctant to switch if they have a relationship with a specific hospital. Incentives to shop might be hampered, too, if a patient’s share of the cost of a procedure or test is small. Finally, only a portion of medical care is “shoppable,” meaning patients have time to look around and compare prices before they undergo the procedure or receive the treatment.

Still, when price data is available, some patients — particularly those with high deductibles that haven’t been met — will shop and choose a lower-priced provider, said Gustafsson.

Experts point to consumer behavior in New Hampshire, which posts price information by insurer online. Only a small percentage took advantage of the online look-up tool, but those who did saved money, according to a recent study by Zach Brown, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Michigan.

Still, the new dataset proposed by the Trump administration might simply overwhelm many consumers.

Although the proposal requires the information be presented so it can be searched online, the amount of data will be huge.

Start with the fact that each hospital has tens of thousands of charges, from room fees to suture costs to the price of each tablet of aspirin. Then multiply that by the number of insurers that contract with each hospital and the amount of data could be staggering.

Patients would need to know what tests, procedures, supplies and even drugs they might need for a given hospitalization, then add them up. For every hospital they are considering.

To help consumers, the proposal would also require hospitals to provide information on 300 “shoppable services” — say knee replacement — and include the price of all the related services that go with it rather than expect patients to somehow try to add them up a la carte.

Will It Lower Prices?

The short answer is maybe. But no one knows for sure.

“We’ve never had price transparency, so there is no evidence to point to exactly what it would do,” said Gustafsson.

In retail, having price information from shopping websites like Amazon has helped drive prices down. But when the Danish government required concrete manufacturers to disclose negotiated prices, they went up, according to a study trotted out by skeptics of the price transparency approach.

But is health care like retail or cement?

On one hand, having actual price information can give self-insured employers and health insurers a stronger hand in negotiations, so they can demand better deals from hospitals. But it could also spur some hospitals to raise their prices if they think competitors are getting a better deal from insurers.

Business professor George Nation, who studies hospital pricing at Lehigh University, lands on the side of the argument that more price information can lower prices, especially if employers and insurers use it to demand steeper discounts.

“This money is coming out of employers’ pockets,” he said. “They’re going to say, why, if Hospital B can do this for $300, why are you charging me $600? Justify your charge.”

While that won’t work in areas with a strong hospital monopoly, it’s a start, he said.

“You can’t have price competition without knowing the price. And that’s where we have been living.”

Will It Become Law?

Again, the answer is maybe.

The proposal could be modified after the administration reviews public comments, due Sept. 27.

After it’s finalized, there may well be a legal battle.

Hospitals and insurers didn’t wait to take the first shots.

Shortly after the proposed rule was released late Monday, their trade organizations released sharply critical statements. They’ve long opposed efforts to reveal their negotiated prices, which they say are trade secrets.

The Trump plan will backfire, said America’s Health Insurance Plans: “Posting privately negotiated rates will make it harder to bargain for lower rates, creating a floor — not a ceiling — for the prices that hospitals would be willing to accept.”

We’ll see you in court, was the not too thinly veiled threat that came from the American Hospital Association, which said the proposal “misses the mark, exceeds the administration’s legal authority and should be abandoned.”

But Medicare administrator Verma was unfazed. When asked by reporters about the potential for a legal battle over the proposal, she said, “We’re not afraid of that.”

Still, on the legal front, it could get complex.

Currently, the administration is backing a lawsuit from 18 red states that are seeking to have the entire Affordable Care Act overturned, including, presumably, any authority it gives the administration to require hospitals to post prices.

Again, Verma was not worried: “If there are any changes to the ACA, we would work with Congress to keep what’s working and get rid of what’s not,” she said at the press conference.

Nation said the attention the proposal is getting from industry backs his contention that there might be something to it.

“The strength of the opposition is indication this may work to lower prices,” he said.

Original Post by By Julie Appleby JULY 31, 2019: https://khn.org/news/trump-administration-moves-to-make-health-care-costs-more-transparent/

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Hobservations A Pair of Proposals to Help Bring Stability and Rationality to the US Medical Insurance Marketplace

Hobservations​: A Pair of Proposals to Help Bring Stability and Rationality to the US Medical Insurance Marketplace

Hobson Carroll, FSA, MAAA, President, MedRisk Actuarial Services, Inc., has served the self-funded health community for four decades offering valuable actuarial services. Hobson's approaches are unorthodox and creative. His thinking leads the self-funded health arena to improve and recheck our bearings. 

Hobson Carroll Proposal 1 - A National Public/Private Purchasing Cooperative for High Cost/Special Needs Drugs

MyHealthGuide Source: Hobson D. Carroll, FSA, MAAA, Originally published on 7/26/2019
Hobson Carroll, FSA, MAAA, President, MedRisk Actuarial Services, Inc., has served the self-funded health community for four decades offering valuable actuarial services. Hobson's approaches are unorthodox and creative.

Managing Known High Cost Claimants

Something direct and functional must be done to bring order as well as consistently rational humane treatment of people with acute and/or chronic high cost medical conditions in our society. Many of the people falling into such a “status” in terms of medical treatment needs are there because they require very expensive drug therapies, or the ongoing need of simply “expensive” drugs for a very long time. People who fall into this status are not people who need insurance, they are people who need their known-contingency care financed. They are past the consideration of being insurable in the technical sense.

Insurance is for Unknown Events

Insurance is the way we handle newly occurring, previously unknown-contingency events that have financial consequences. In this country, it is also the way we have chosen to finance the bulk of preventive, primary, and intermediate acute care services and what I will call health “benefits,” if not health “insurance.” It is also the way we expect the system to provide initial financial support for new “ongoing” care requirements, and what, after the initial contract year of exposure, becomes the population with ongoing high cost chronic status discussed above. This is all in addition to the majority use of true insurance, that being the intermediate to high cost, but acute, non-recurring incident or episodes of care that were not previously expected, and which have little expected cost to follow.

While we can debate whether the insurance system should cover basic and preventive care (health benefits), it is pretty much a moot point because it is what we are already doing by tradition, by law, and by regulation. I believe it is fair to expect the private risk market to handle the initial onset of previously unknown, random occurring events that make up the true element of health insurance. It is, however, quite unfair to expect either the sponsoring organization (usually an employer sponsored plan, whether carrier-insured or employer-insured), or their private risk partners (direct carriers, stop-loss carriers, and reinsurers standing in whatever order behind initial risk-takers) to be required to provide non-risk based financing of conditions and treatments that society has deemed as a right for persons to receive and to have payment covered by someone other than themselves.

With that background, I should like to propose two initiatives that I believe would significantly improve the financing, and therefore to at least some extent the delivery, of the right kind of medical care for the ongoing chronic condition population.

Proposal One – A National Public/Private Purchasing Cooperative for High Cost/Special Needs Drugs

The problem with proposals that suggest that Medicare, or state Medicaid programs, should negotiate their own special discounts from pharmaceutical manufacturers are well intentioned, but loaded with knock-on effects and unintended consequences, the chief of which is to create inevitable cost shifting to private payers. This would create an even harsher environment of a feeding frenzy from PBMs and networks and retail pharmacy companies trying to maintain market share, and increased costs overall to the private payer sector. The types of drugs and therapies I envision for this program are those for which the proper risk population is really the entire population. This avoids allowing natural market instincts to divide, price differentiate, and conquer payers that currently exists so rabidly within the Rx market sector.

The National Public/Private Purchasing Cooperative (NPC) would be run on a cost-plus basis with expenses (which should be minimal) added to the prices established via the negotiation with Pharma and passed on via the resulting “national, single, non-discriminatory” price for each of the drugs that will be handled through the NPC schedule/formulary. Essentially, the NPC will function on the “market” side as a single source wholesaler to all purchasers in the country – government programs, traditional PBM/private market clients, insurers, etc. It will provide a single pricing structure to all payers without differentiation and will be the only legal source in the nation for purchasing the drugs that are on the list.

Prices will be negotiated for the entire population with the Pharma representatives of the indicated drugs and the NPC will utilize tools that include power of authority to enforce a “most favored nation” position to negotiate the resulting price schedule, if required. No other market within the country will be legally allowed to exist for the sale of the scheduled drugs.

Having a properly negotiated, single national price for the types of drugs that fall into the high cost category will prevent the “squeeze over” cost shifting on price to take place and allow for a more properly managed total risk cost for these items. The net cost to the nation overall should also be reduced as a world equilibrium price is closer at hand, rather than the multiple “tier” pricing that has existed with the US market overpaying for the benefit of the world. Utilization/frequency use of these drug therapies and their impact on insuring entities is address more fully in the second proposal.

Hobson Carroll Proposal 2 - A National Mandatory Special Condition Reinsurance Cooperative

MyHealthGuide Source: : Hobson D. Carroll, FSA, MAAA, 9/3/2019
Hobson Carroll, FSA, MAAA, President, MedRisk Actuarial Services, Inc., has served the self-funded health community for four decades offering valuable actuarial services. Hobson's approaches are unorthodox and creative.

Proposal 1 (above) is a description to bring reasonable order to the pricing side of pharmaceutical products requiring either catastrophic cost levels, or ongoing higher, if not catastrophic, cost levels, via the formulation of a national public/private purchasing cooperative through which the legal fulfillment of all such prescriptions would have to flow within the United States, whether funded by public or commercial/private insurance payors.

In this Proposal 2, I suggest the establishment of an overriding national reinsurance cooperative for all coverage provided through commercial/private insurance payors (meaning either insurance carrier entities, or self-insured entity insurers) and whether individual coverage, small group coverage, or large group coverage.

Proposal Two – a National Mandatory Special Condition Reinsurance Cooperative

When a medical event arises for a person on a basis that was previously unknown/unexpected, that is a contingency that existing reinsurance/stop-loss markets are dynamic and robust enough to absorb for some “reasonable” amount of time following the diagnosis/start of such occurrence. However, the nature of our commercial reinsurance and stop-loss contracts is to tie everything to the contract period and relate liability solely to services/products provided during that defined time.

  • That is, there are no occurrence/per-cause based type contracts of reinsurance or stop-loss protection, such as exists in, say, Worker’s Compensation, where the liability telescopes indefinitely from the event/accident date (at least for the most part).

This does not mean we cannot construct a global, overlying reinsurance protection that works as a proxy for occurrence, and which can protect the intermediate risk-taker (carrier, reinsurer, stop-loss carrier, or self-insured employer plan) for ongoing, recurring, chronic, catastrophic expense situations.

The principles for design of such a program require certain basic elements. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  1. Well-defined terms for coverage, though with flexibility for appropriate change based on medical treatment evolution – who, what, when, how much, etc.
  2. Mandatory participation by all players.
  3. Fair and reasonable premium/cost construction.

Form a Taskforce

To address the first element, both initially and for ongoing updates, I propose a public/private task-force for the establishment of the working coverage details, and the definition list for the status/conditions that are to be covered by the reinsurance program. While I am sure there will be some challenging definitional discussions, I have every confidence that a well-defined set of parameters can be established that will provide the necessary framework for the more pragmatic operational and administrative elements to be designed to work effectively. Such a task-force might be an overriding management/governing body for the reinsurance program as a whole.

Cost for operating the reinsurance facility would be an expense factor built into the premium/assessment rates, and transparent to the public, justified by the governing body, and subject to government oversight as required. The entity is not for profit, and “risk” margins can be offset by the ability to adjust premiums or charge special assessments as required for financial stability of the program.

Requirements Summary

The need for the program to be mandatory for all “primary risk-taking” entities should be clear and manifest. The concept is that the only population large enough to absorb these types of “financial” risks is a proxy for the society as a whole. In this case, that proxy is the covered population of all non-governmental health insurance markets – individual carrier coverage, group carrier coverage, and self-insured entity coverage. No single insurance entity should be allowed a waiver for non-participation in the reinsurance program.

  • Mandatory for all “primary risk-taking” entities. No waivers.
  • Initial coverage design is defined.
  • Cost is actuarially based.
  • The program self-adjusts with experience.
  • Authority to assess to offset deficits.
  • Reinsured Claimants (entities with persons with ongoing claims) incur an ongoing annual co-pay and annual maximum cost cap.
Once the initial coverage design is defined, actuarial estimation of the cost of that coverage against the population involved can be made, an appropriate expense component added, and preliminary program premiums established. The general principle is that the program should be self-adjusting as experience develops, and the facility should have assessment authority to offset deficits that might accumulate in the early stages.

It is important that the initial estimates for premium rates be conservative to avoid such early assessments as it should be easier to adjust future premiums downwards than make up for deficits. This is an important and potentially challenging process to work through, but I believe the industry has the capacity to price closely the initial coverage once the definitions of that coverage are finalized. In addition to ongoing premium charges, entities with persons receiving active reinsurance protection (i.e., are being reimbursed ongoing claim amounts) from the facility will also contribute via a coinsurance, anticipated to be 10% up to a dollar cap per primary entity contract period, to maintain interest, and to offset some of the general program cost with a claimant specific contribution.

Addressing Inherent 'Financial' Risk

At this point, I will describe an example of how the reinsurance protection of this national facility might work in order to address the ongoing “financial” risk inherent in certain high cost, ongoing/chronic condition claimants. It is important to consider the concept of “status” as well as more traditional externally determined factors (such as a time period, or a dollar amount being reached) in both the establishment of whether a beneficiary covered by a primary insurer may be considered for coverage by the facility, i.e., “qualified,” and then to be in an “active” reimbursement category after meeting other contingent requirements for coverage.

For the purposes of an analogy, think “disability” insurance, where there is the primary requirement that an insured first be “disabled,” which is a form of status. Then, usually a time deductible (elimination period) must be met before benefits will actually become payable. However, once that time deductible is met, the person must continue to be in the status of “disabled” (contract definition) in order to actually activate the benefits payable and must stay in that status in order to continue to be paid.

Proposed Facility is to Pool & Fund "Ongoing, Known" Claims

The proposed reinsurance coverage would be firstly contingent on the claimant’s condition being one of those that will have been classified as eligible for this program – certain identified, ongoing (for some minimal amount of time on an expected basis), high/catastrophic cost conditions that will identify the covered status. Presuming the person remains in a covered status category continuously, then once the primary insurance entity has satisfied the initial time and/or dollar requirements to be established, then the claimant will fall into an active payment (reimbursement) designation, and the reinsurance will provide its stated protection on an ongoing basis to whomever the primary insurance entity covering the person happens to be.

This is a very important point – once the claimant is considered a covered status condition beneficiary of the facility, it doesn’t matter if the primary insurance entity changes at a contract renewal date (contract renewal for the entity and the underlying insured – individual, fully-insured group, or self-insured entity). The coverage by the facility is for that person so long as they remain continuously covered within the population “ecosystem” protected by the reinsurance pool.

An Unknown Contingency Becomes a Known Contingency

For our example, let’s assume that a previously unknown contingency event happens to a beneficiary of a given primary insurance entity coverage. I.e., there is the onset of a condition due to accident or sickness that would not reasonably be considered as a known pre-existing condition. This could be the birth of a hemophiliac child, a car crash with excessive burns and quadriplegia, a child coming down with an orphan disease for which a recent pharmaceutical treatment has been developed with catastrophic ongoing costs. The point is that the situation falls into a category that should be submitted to the reinsurance facility for preliminary notice and evaluation for “status” determination. The primary insurer would be responsible for the first $250,000 of expenses (based on the coverage of that primary insurance plan of benefits), whether in the initial contract year, or extending into a second contract year. It should be unlikely that a potential claimant could not have at least that much in expenditures within 9-24 months and still maintain the conditional status. (Note that this is an merely an example of the initial deductible.)

Once this “deductible” is met by the primary insurer (who may have other coverage, such as stop-loss protection if it is a self-insured entity, and which can respond to that first $250,000 layer), and the conditional status continues, then the claimant becomes covered by the reinsurance facility for 90% of expenses from that point on, subject to a maximum of $100,000 per underlying entity contract year applying to the 10% coinsurance for which they are responsible. That is, the maximum, in this example, that the primary entity would have to pay of the applicable claims would be 10% subject to a $100,000 cap for each contract period after reinsurance benefits become payable. I am suggesting this limitation because I believe it is not unreasonable to suggest that the primary insuring entity can budget and handle such an amount given the 10% share it represents, and it helps defray a portion of the ongoing claims cost of the facility itself without being onerous. Obviously, all these dollar and time parameters are variable to the final form of the program.

Remember that the purpose of this facility is to pool ongoing, known contingency, financial burdens that exist now with the expectation that the primary insurer and/or their reinsurance/stop-loss partners should be required to shoulder such randomly distributed situations, and not replace true unknown contingency financial risk management tools. The existing reinsurance and stop-loss market does quite well in providing protection to primary risk entities for this type of true insurance risk.

The idea is to make the renewal of such programs with ongoing major expense claimants smoother and allow for much greater competitiveness without the primary insurer always, at the end of the day, being “stuck” with the claimant, because the national pool will have taken the lion’s share of the ongoing cost of that treatment out of the equation. This should allow for a more robust, active, and fair market that is intended to address the actual risk characteristics of the group/carrier involved for essentially unknown contingencies (and minor known situations), without the ever-present peril represented by catastrophic known contingencies hanging over the event.

Additional Comment

If this mandated reinsurance facility is considered by employer sponsors, why not move to full "Medicare for all"? It is important to maintain a robust self-funded environment where employers, TPAs, stop loss carriers and others constantly compete and innovate to create customize coverage for employees and family members to improve health and achieve cost efficiencies. This solution to societal conditioned financial risk, as opposed to true insurance risk, will allow the proper function and creativity of the private risk market to perform at its best.

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How To Run a Benefits Webinar

How To Run a Benefits Webinar


People from various industries all around the world are openly sharing their stories, strategies and experience through their webinars. 

As a healthcare broker, you can spend 60 minutes doing several cold calls trying to sell your product directly while people on the other side of the phone do not who you are or why are you calling them. But in the same 60 minutes you can engage with an audience of 100 people, who signed up for it in advance, and are already involved with what you're talking about. Moreover, they recognize YOU as an expert on this topic!

Seems like a dream deal, doesn't it? 

But what if you have never ran a webinar before? 

On this Facebook Live, Jessica Du Bois and I reveal our strategies on running webinars in healthcare industry not only for individual prospects, but also for HRs, CEOs and CFOs. You will learn how to find topics for your webinars, get people sign up, invite special guests and of course follow up with your audience in a most effective way to grow your business. 

We also talk about the emotional side of the problem, and how to deal with it - since one of the most difficult things for people is the fear of holding their first webinar. And this fear haunts not only the beginners, but those who have decades of experience in their field. Here's how Jessica describes it:

"I think naturally there's an impostor syndrome within us. It's a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a fear of being exposed as a "fraud". How you get over it? It's your practice. It's figuring out what your knowledgeable about, or bringing in someone who's an expert on the topic, and co-host webinar with them. It's not about the number of people that define your professionalism at the very beginning. If you can get 20 people on a webinar, you already have something valuable to say".

In this week’s lesson we cover:

- Overcoming the fear of speaking in front of the audience; 
- How to choose the platform for your webinar; 
- Who is your Audience (Avatar); 
- How to set up what you want to do (panel discussion, co-host, individual) and which one works best; 
- Finding a topic and building excitement; 
- A content plan that will keep people engaged for 60 minutes; 
- How to get people to show up; 
- The smart follow-up strategies that will make them come back to you; 

To a better you!

John Sbrocco & Craig Lack at Heads Up Adviser.

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Is Your Prospect An Investor, Speculator or Gambler?

Reframing How You Sell Healthcare - Is Your Prospect An Investor, Speculator or Gambler?

Is Your Prospect an Investor,  Speculator, or Gambler?
When it comes to allocate your budget to healthcare, are you an investor, speculator or gambler? 

For a large majority of the prospects that you pose this question to their first answer won't be the correct one. As humans, when our ideologies are questioned our gut instinct is to portray a projection of excellence, consequentially derived straight from our ego's. 

Predictably, your prospect will want to protect their self-image and will categorize themselves as educated investors. Unfortunately, you can't be a profitable investor by just claiming to be one. To have even the slightest chance of being in the green one's ears must be glued to the pulse of the market's price and value ends. 

Without the basic information, your prospect is rendered helpless, and even more devasting is the resulting limitation of purely existing as either a speculator or a gambler. Both personas lack clear and actionable strategies and are destined to lose before capital even enters the equation. 

That's why it's your job as a Healthcare Broker to hold up a mirror in front of their business and show them why what they're doing is wrong. Without rubbing it in their face. This can be achieved by using your knowledge of salesmanship and psychology to communicate the value of intelligent healthcare spending by leveraging the power of analogies, allegories, and stories.

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Give Yourself Permission

How Rainmaker’s Recharge For the 4th Quarter 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

As Broker’s we sometimes we get so caught up in the notion that if we take our foot of off the gas for even one second that our clients will leave us, our rivals will cherry-pick them until we have no one to serve, and ultimately the business we poured our flush dollar bills and sweat equity in will sink into an empty abyss.

This is the furthest fact from reality…

The truth is that your clients that like you and appreciate the service you provide WANT you to have a good time. That’s because all they really care about is that you take care of them when their needs arise. And if you have the correct business infrastructure in place, this won’t be an issue.

Realistically, the story that we create in our minds becomes a reinforcement that can either give us motivation and purpose or serve as an anchor that weighs us down. If we want to create astronomical success in our lives, we must consciously decide to choose thoughts and beliefs that propel us to greater heights.

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What is NOT Trend? : The Invisible Hand Behind Rate Increases

What is NOT Trend? : The Invisible Hand Behind Rate Increases

The Latest Industry Buzzword 

Every community has a system of beliefs that they automatically assume to be true. For the veterans that have kept their heads above water in the  Healthcare Brokerage industry, you know that the latest fashion of the times has been to establish “trends” and “price increases” as synonymous. While trends do function as global underlying pressures on claims costs that must be considered into every book of business, they do not act as the sole predictor of rate construction or premium claim projections.

What is NOT Trend

Let’s imagine a couple of scenarios that validate this line of thinking. Say you were to experience a  price increase because the carrier miscalculated their pooling charges last year. Would that price increase be a direct result of trend? Or what if your client added a new subsidiary in a high COL area of the country? At first this fact doesn't bother you, until you realize that this geographical change doubles the number of bodies on the plan. Hence, resulting in another price increase.

The Building Blocks of “Trend”

These scenarios exist due to the seemingly invisible factors that have a direct correlation upon price. We like to make the memorization of these factors easy, using the acronym Q.U.A.S.T.I.C.

  • Quality - The quality of the benefits provided to utilizers.

  • Utilization - The percentage of participants taking advantage of available  benefits.

  • Addition -The inclusion of  supplemental coverage, or the increase of frequency available for benefit utilization. 

  • Substitution - The substitution of one medical care and medical services for an equal or more expensive alternative. 

  • Technology - The adoption of apps, software, or tele-medicine capabilities.

  • Inflation - The increase in price due to the rising costs associated with factors of production. 

  • Cost Shifting -  The manipulation of commercial patient costs to recoup the losses incurred from servicing Medicare and Medicaid patients. 

Becoming familiar with the total gamut of factors that drive rising claim costs is the first step in understanding our complex landscape. 

Now that you’ve made it this far, the next challenge is to use this knowledge to leverage better results for you and your clients. 

Take the plunge and learn the latter in this week’s lesson. 

In this lesson we cover:

  • The Top 5 Reasons for Rate Increases 

  • Cost Shifting’s role in skyrocketing Commercial Patent Rates 

  • A Broker’s Strategy Guide for negotiating better rates for their clients

  • The Competitive Advantage of Family Deductible Plans 

To a better you!

John Sbrocco & the team at Heads Up Adviser

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Sales Psychology 101


Sales Psychology 101

You can have numerous meetings with the company, talk to every single person there, prepare a great offer, but still be left on hold with the decision-making process. Then one day, your competitor walks in and closes the deal right there.​ 

You worked on it for months – the prospect awarded the business in a couple of days (to someone else - they got it). Does that sound familiar? Has this ever happened to you?

In this episode of the "Heads Up Adviser" show hosts - John Sbrocco and Craig Lack will talk about the importance of the 6 Human Needs of every person on the planet (including your prospects).

They discuss the difference between selling and free consulting, what are the right questions you should ask your prospect and why being the smartest person in the room will not help you in closing a sale or allowing a prospect to conclude  you are the best option.

THE 6 HUMAN NEEDS by Tony Robbins

CERTAINTY - Everyone needs Certainty, so they can avoid pain, or ideally, achieve some pleasure. 
VARIETY Pleasant surprises or scary interruptions to the patterns in our lives are appreciated 
SIGNIFICANCE - How important is the role you play in this world, your company, with your employees 
CONNECTION AND LOVE - Human beings need companionship, to feel loved and to have relationships
GROWTH - If the business isn’t growing - it's dying 
CONTRIBUTION - Human beings are wired by evolution to survive, help each other and feed their ego


  • [6:45] - The #1 priority for the human brain to avoid pain and losses. Not to achieve pleasure. 
  • [10:13] - 6 Human Needs (that apply to everyone).
  • [12:26] - Selling vs. Free Consulting
  • [19:41] - Talk to the decision-makers, not influencers. 
  • [20:53] - How to make your prospect talk about the problems
  • [25:29] - Why free consulting can harm your brokerage business
  • [29:47] - Secret to closing the deal? Make your prospect think about the problem.

To a better you!

John Sbrocco and Craig Lack

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-Start Time, 6:00

-What is medical captive?, 11:28

-How Important is risk management, 20:20

-Shadow Pricing Fully Insured Renewals, 23:17

-Captive or Traditional Stop loss?, 25:08

-Laser or No Laser, That is the Question., 26:50

-The cost of a No Laser contract, 29:09

-Fully Insured Organ Transplant Contract, 32:31

-Pitfalls of Captives, 33:35

- Why Is a Laser Placed?, 39:13

-How do you mitigate risk in a captive? 40:21

-How to Mitigate Leverage Trend 46:22

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