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Navigating the Middle Ground Between Centralized and Decentralized Pooled Insurance Groups

Navigating the Middle Ground Between Centralized and Decentralized Pooled Insurance Groups
Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2019 by Businessolver Team

Watch the final installment of our four-part series of short videos aimed at helping pooled groups find the right combination of technology and services to grow their business. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

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Video Transcript

Ty Arlint: Hello again from Businessolver, and welcome back to the final video in our series “Business models for pooled insurance groups.” I’m your host Ty Arlint and with me I have Ryan Eagle, Vice President of Client Success. How are you doing, Ryan?

Ryan Eagle: I’m doing great, Ty.

Ty Arlint: Excellent. In our last two video segments, we talked about fully decentralized and fully centralized groups with you and Ben both. Ryan, I was hoping you could start off with our audience and give them an overview or a breakdown of what that means for them.

Ryan Eagle: Sure. You’re spot on, it is right in between. In the hybrid model there still is a centrally staffed team that’s responsible for handling issues with member groups, working directly with the pool about their choices and plan design. One of the distinguishing features, though, is that third-party team is usually a broker or a consultant. It’s usually not centrally staffed by the pool itself. That’s the biggest difference.

Ty Arlint: Okay so, that sounds to me like it could be a little bit confusing.There’s a lot of people involved. Based on your years of experience, do you have any tips that you could share with our audience that could help them overcome that confusion?

Ryan Eagle: Sure, sure. Number one, you have to document. When there’s a third party involved and there’s multiple groups and you don’t know where to go to get answers, you have to document who’s responsible for what. A lot of times what I see in the hybrid model is there’s going to be certain things that centrally staffed groups don’t want to handle, and they’re expecting that third party, that technology partner, to handle it directly with the member groups. A good example would be annual enrollment in collecting prices from each of the individual member groups.

Ty Arlint: What do you think the important capabilities in the technology are that organizations should be looking for?

Ryan Eagle: Because there’s multiple stakeholders in this type of arrangement, I think flexibility is the number one important factor. If you’re not flexible and the technology’s not flexible, you’re not going to be able to meet the hybrid model where it needs to be met. A lot of times, as you develop the partnership with a hybrid model group, you’re going to see some different responsibilities change or move over from the centrally staffed group to the technology partner. If your technology is not able to handle that change and that movement, you’re going to have a difficult time moving forward with that group and you’re going to have difficulty growing.

Ty Arlint: Okay, so you’ve got flexibility. What other factors are there in what you’re looking for in a technology partner?

Ryan Eagle: I think communication would be the next most important thing. You want to work with a technology partner that can really help you automate the communication, not just to the member groups themselves, but also to the member groups’ employees. Having a tool that can go through and help automate that, but also, back to flexibility, allow that central staff to go through and send messages out themselves with that technology is very important.

Ty Arlint: Ryan, thank you. That was great advice, appreciate that. To our viewing audience, thank you very much for tuning in. That concludes our video series, and if you don’t know which model you fit in, whether it’s fully centralized, a hybrid or a fully decentralized model, you can certainly reach us at [email protected] You can also look us up on social media and we’d be happy to help. Have a great day and thanks for joining us. 

Miss the other episodes? Watch them below: 

Why Your Pooled Group’s Business Model Matters: An Introduction 

Understand the Support You Need for Your Centralized Pooled Insurance Group

Getting to Know Decentralized Pooled Insurance Group Model

Interested in learning more? Check out our e-book below.