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November 2017

Why you’re on the B list (Webinar CE)

November 20 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

Insurance agents rely on their carrier reps and underwriters to get their groups issued as quickly as possible and at the best possible rates. And, as we all know, it never hurts to have a good relationship with the people who are in a position to pull some strings. So why in the world do some agents do things that irritate and annoy these people that we depend on – things that could end up hurting both them and their clients in the long run? We have no clue, but we do know what those things are, and this course is designed to tell agents how to avoid some common mistakes and become a preferred agent with each of the carriers they work with.

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One Man’s Pain Is Another Man’s Profit (Webinar CE – Ethics)

November 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

One of the major goals of the Affordable Care Act was to make health care more affordable. And while the health law does make coverage possible for millions of Americans through expanded Medicaid and premium tax credits, millions of others have trouble paying their monthly premiums. People who have severe allergies and rare diseases have a different problem: paying for the cost of their life-saving medications. With so many struggling to afford the coverage and care that they need, we’re hearing renewed cries for some sort of single-payer, government-run solution. In this course, we examine the ethical issues involved in profiting off of another person’s pain. Are insurers and pharmaceutical companies to be commended for offering valuable products and services or condemned for taking advantage of a desperate situation?

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Health Literacy (Webinar CE)

November 21 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

Some insurance agents believe that their job is done as soon as the employer decides which plan or plans to offer the employees. In this course, we’ll argue that that step is just the beginning of the agent’s job. Once a plan has been selected, the agent has a responsibility to thoroughly explain the health plan(s) to the company’s employees and ensure that they understand why they need health insurance coverage and, once enrolled, how to access their benefits. Without that education, employees may opt out and those consumers who do enroll may not know what services are covered or, more importantly, which ones are not. As a result, they could end up using their plan incorrectly or, even worse, not using it at all, leading to big and unnecessary out-of-pocket costs or worsening medical conditions that could have been treated early. This is complicated by the fact that a big percentage of the population has difficulty navigating the health care system. The purpose of this course is to inform agents about a problem that they may not have realized existed – health literacy – and then arm them with tools that they can use to help their clients understand a growing number of benefits options.

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Consumer Choice: Finding the Sweet Spot (Webinar CE)

November 21 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

As the number of health insurance options increases, people are often in the dark about which plan they should choose, so they end up making decisions based on features they know (brand name, copays, premium, etc.) rather than the features that may be the most appropriate (out-of-pocket limits, network providers, etc.). Brokers who understand how people make buying decisions will help them provide better and more complete guidance to their clients. The challenge is to offer enough but not too many options –- to find the “sweet spot” on the curve.

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The Health Benefits of Wine and Chocolate (Webinar CE)

November 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

It’s no secret that wellness programs provide a great return on investment for employers of all sizes. But does the “carrot and stick” approach of premium discounts or surcharges that usually accompany them actually work? And even if it does encourage employees to participate in a wellness program, does it result in the sort of long-term behavior change that employers desire? Perhaps, but there’s good evidence that employers can achieve similar or even better results without offering a reward or the threat of a penalty at all. This course will help attendees understand how to make wellness programs work long-term, without all the costs, bells & whistles, carrots & sticks, and measurements we’ve heard so much about in other wellness courses. The secret is making it fun for employees.

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December 2017

Pimp My Spreadsheet (Webinar CE)

December 11 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

Agents have a lot of tasks to do at renewal time, but one of the most important is shopping the market and placing the various plan options in a like format so that employers can compare the plans available to their employees. To accomplish this task, most agents use some form of spreadsheet, usually printing off several pages of “apples to apples” comparisons for their clients. Unfortunately, a lot of agents make some common mistakes in this process, such as including too many benefits and too many plan options. Another thing some agents are guilty of is creating a difficult-to-read spreadsheet with too much information or spreading the plan options across several pages. Finally, a lot of agents use the spreadsheet as a way to avoid making a plan recommendation when studies show that employers do, in fact, want guidance – they want the agent to tell them what to do. The good news is that there are some ways to make spreadsheets better, more useful tools for our clients. And that’s the purpose of this course – to point out some of the common mistakes, share some information about how people learn and make decisions, give attendees some pointers that might help them create better insurance comparisons, and provide them with some examples of actual spreadsheets that might be better than what they’re currently using with their clients.

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It’s Time to Get Ready for 2018 (Webinar CE)

December 11 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

As we enter the second year of the Trump presidency, the health insurance industry will be changing rapidly. Presumably, portions of the Affordable Care Act will have been repealed and we will be phasing in the ACA replacement plan. In this course, we’ll review the most important changes from 2017 and look ahead to the changes to come in 2018. It’s intended to get brokers off to a good start in the new year.

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How to Advise Medicare-Eligible Employees (Webinar CE)

December 21 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

While agents who hold a Life & Health license are authorized to sell a number of different products, many choose to specialize in a particular market segment – group, individual, or Medicare. However, with the first wave of baby boomers now eligible for Medicare and more and more people working past age 65, the lines between these segments aren’t always so clear. Agents who previously specialized in small or large group health insurance are now being asked to advise employees about whether they should stay on the employer-sponsored plan, sign up for Medicare, or both. And, for an agent without a thorough understanding of the Medicare rules, it’s easy to give bad advice. So, while group health brokers may not sell Medicare products, it is crucial that they have a thorough understanding of Medicare cost, eligibility, and penalties if they want to provide sound advice to the employees of their group clients. And though they cannot instruct the employee to drop the group plan in favor of the government program, they can educate them about their options and make sure that they’re making the best decision for themselves and their families. This course will help them do just that.

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Why do I need ethics? (Webinar CE – Ethics)

December 21 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Online Event (GoToWebinar)

Most states require insurance agents to take a course in ethics as a condition of keeping and renewing their license. Insurance agents face ethical dilemmas on a daily basis when there is a conflict between their interests, their clients’ interests, and the interests of the carriers they represent. The reason it is a dilemma is because these conflicts are not always a decision between right and wrong; often they are a decision between right and right. Part of the reason for the ethics requirement is to encourage agents to think about these possible conflicts before they arise and have a game plan ahead of time – a “code of ethics” – to help decide what action to take. The purpose of this course is to help agents understand why they are required to take regular courses in ethics, identify some of the areas where they may find themselves facing an ethical dilemma, and give them some things to think about so they will make the best decision for all parties involved whenever they find themselves in one of those situations.

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