Soon after joining Higginbotham as a customer service representative in the employee benefits department, TJ Hutchings set a goal to become a managing director within five years, which he accomplished by the end of 2018. Hutchings has maintained a...
Soon after joining Higginbotham as a customer service representative in the employee benefits department, TJ Hutchings set a goal to become a managing director within five years, which he accomplished by the end of 2018. Hutchings has maintained a 95%-plus customer retention rate by tirelessly searching for savings solutions for his clients and fostering community relationships to bring them closer to resources that can improve their situation.
On this episode, TJ discusses how his Cancer diagnosis led him to this current career path before deep diving into how employers should be approaching health insurance for their teams. He breaks down basic terminologies and best practices for small to medium-sized companies and how employees can make the most of their health plans. Chris and TJ also discuss the concept of businesses having to provide insurance, pre-existing conditions, the rising costs of care, and more. Enjoy!
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(02:46) - TJ’s Background and Early Career
(05:42) - What are folks left with when they are continually rejected in their appeals for health coverage?
(06:32) - TJ’s Journey of Working with Higginbotham
(08:15) - How do you think about what you do for a living?
(10:12) - What are the things that SMB owners should be asking when they’re at the table with you?
(10:54) - Defining Markets
(11:51) - Who sets rates?
(13:55) - What variables can employers negotiate to get better rates or do privately do improve their individual standing?
(16:58) - At what size do you start thinking about self-insuring?
(20:06) - Individual Health vs. the Group Plan
(20:35) - Why is insurance state-by-state?
(21:35) - What are the types of plans and what do they mean?
(25:12) - Basic Terminologies
(26:19) - Why is it on your employer to cover health insurance in America?
(27:35) - How do you make the decision on which bucket your company fits in?
(31:22) - Dual-Options Plans for Employees
(32:17) - Should most employers have their agent on site for open enrollment day?
(34:08) - What happens when there are folks on the team with pre-existing conditions?
(36:19) - What happens after folks and their companies have picked their policies?
(38:39) - Is there any risk the employer takes on selecting a plan?
(38:51) - Who are the main companies in this space?
(41:00) - How far in advance should employers start thinking about next year’s plan?
(42:48) - How do you navigate the constantly changing regulations as politicians revolve in and out of office to change things?
(45:21) - Obamacare
(46:00) - If I don’t have health insurance, and something terrible happens, who’s paying those bills?
(47:06) - Why are health costs continuing to increase?
Dr. Bricker Videos - AHealthcareZ
(49:40) - Price Differences Between US and Canada for Pharmaceutical Drugs
(50:42) - Is it a growing industry to have a company that fights the hospital billing on your behalf?
(52:39) - Does the misfortune of a few impact the premium of the whole group?
(54:47) - What questions should companies be asking different agents?
(57:30) - What does your dream client look like?
(1:00:53) - Is there any technology that could disrupt this industry?
(1:03:05) - Are there political issues in healthcare that keep you up at night?
(1:07:07) - Was there something that happened in your childhood that shaped your path in life?
(1:09:08) - Do you have a morning routine?
(1:11:08) - What is the best advice you’ve been given & What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry?
(1:12:56) - How can people find you?
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