Category Archives: Uncategorized

Want a Zero Deductible Health Care Plan? Here’s How!

deductible stack 300

Shhhh. . . did you hear that?


Quietly–maybe even while you were sleeping–a revolution in the insurance industry began to occur early last year. Old ideas were abandoned, new ideas adopted, and new choices came into focus.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: You’ve heard all you can bear about the Affordable Healthcare Act and its wonders. Well, that’s not what this  post is about. It’s something about which you may have never heard a peep.


Deductible Insurance.

That’s it, in two words.

Sure, it has a longer name on the marketing materials, and someone stayed up all night to think of what to call it, but we’ll just call it what it is.

Deductible Insurance.

Something new. A new choice for your family protection portfolio, and even more necessary in today’s high deductible landscape. Here’s how it works:




The old way of doing things is lost to the market now–probably forever–but it involved an “up front” approach to healthcare via higher coverage and higher premiums. The deductible was low, and co-pays kept office visits to a predictable cost. Those same premiums, however, never really stopped getting higher and higher each year. Supplemental coverage was difficult to justify with such high cost of coverage.






The new way keeps premiums stable–or at least is supposed to–while taking some risk on the back end that we are generally healthy except for unexpected occurrences. That works well for some, but isn’t an accurate picture for everyone. Deductibles soared to share some of the cost (and risk), while the occasional supplemental plan could fill in a gap or two. Overall costs dropped, but only if utilization was low.




The average amounts for workers with an aggregate deductible for family coverage are $1,743 for HMOs, $1,854 for PPOs, $2,821 for POS plans, and $4,079 for HDHP/SOs  -Kaiser Family Foundation 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey




“With great deductibles come great responsibility”. –Spiderman’s Aunt

 Okay, not the actual quote, but it works for this discussion. Medical plan deductibles have been sliding deep into the thousands, with family deductibles often hitting tens of thousands. Whatever the reason, this is the reality most of us face or will be facing soon. The risk is transferred almost completely to the insured for routine illnesses and minor injury incidents, while a scary number looms ahead should there be something requiring real attention.

Enter Deductible Insurance. Call it a hospital buy-down, catastrophic confinement coverage, a safety net. Call it whatever you like, but imagine having your entire personal deductible (up to $3000 per event, per person) paid in cash after a hospital stay. Accident, illness, childbirth, on-the-job injury, whatever the case may be. Your out of pocket may even be eliminated altogether, depending on your health plan and coverage. Coupled with an FSA or HRA (if your employer is that awesome), it gets even better!

Imagine knowing that your bottom line is covered, no matter what happens. With deductible insurance it is possible to have that kind of peace of mind. Relax, it’s covered. There is a better way.




Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you for the responses! We’ll keep on working!

December Thank yous


Thanks to all of you who are requesting more information, and to some of the Locals who have already decided to let us help you grow! We’ve had 68 Locals in 16 states ask about our program! Keep thinking outside the box! Are you ready to grow your membership?

Contact Us:
Union Benefit Pioneers

Union Benefits FAQ: The top questions answered.

Perfect Union_opt-2

Quite a few folks have been asking questions about how our system works, and here are the top questions so far. I’ll add more as necessary to continue the flow of information.

Who are you guys?

Probably the most important question of all, so I’ll be direct. We are a team of agents who wish to see American Unions grow again, and we know how to help your Local do it. Since all we do is supplemental benefits, there is no confusion or lack of focus on our part. We partner with other agents around the country to make sure your Local is served by a friendly face (or two) who lives where you live, and will always be available.

How does this work?

In a few words: Simply, easily, and quickly. We already have the infrastructure in place using our relationship with a Fortune 200 company that is all-American and Union friendly: Aflac. With permission from the Local and a short series of conversations, we can have everything up and running for you to offer more to your members. No catch, no surprises. Honestly, it’s a bit like installing a vending machine. You don’t have any work to do, but your Local gets to provide the best products to your members.

How much does it cost, really?

Nothing. Nothing at all. Even the initial paperwork is painless, and only members who wish to be covered have any cost. Even that isn’t much; just a few dollars a week.

Can anyone have the benefits? What about family coverage? What about the Local office staff?

Yes, as long as they are a member of your Union Local, they are eligible. Their families too if so chosen. Even the office staff can choose the same great benefits, with no difference in coverage, cost, or service.

How long does it take to set up?

That depends on a few variables, such as the size (member count) of your Local, geography of your jurisdiction, and timing a few short meetings to discuss your wishes and ideas for how to announce the good news. For the most part, it takes from a couple of weeks to about 45 days to go from “let’s do it” to “all done”. We do all the work behind the scenes, and keep your management in the loop on timelines.

You keep saying “Local”, I thought this was a Union program?

It is important to treat each of your individual Locals as separate organizations. You are already organized into Locals, and therefore have structured everything around that model. So we follow that model. Each area has unique challenges, each city or region has unique needs and situations. We tailor our service to you, not the other way around. This keeps our service local, too.

Do you have a website?

Our website is in the works, but we still prefer to work one-on-one and provide as much personal interaction as possible. Our system is so simple, we can focus 99% of our energy on your members.

Are you legit? Do we need permission to work with your team?

Yes, we are Independent Agents with Aflac (exclusively, so there are no mixed messages), and are licensed in your state. As to permission: every Local, District, and/or State level within your Union will have different concerns or rules of the road. We insist that you follow the normal chain-of-command in your organization to keep things above board. Aflac is known to many Union organizations already, so the wheel need not be reinvented. We have taken the hard choices out of the equation and now, it is simply a turn-key decision for your Local and it’s future growth.


Yes, growth. Everywhere our benefits are offered, Locals observe membership increases and more interaction with prospects. Some folks join up just to have our benefits, and will be loyal members for life because of what you’ve done for them and their families. We plan meetings, help at membership drives, bring visibility to your Local, and can even provide opportunities for press and publicity.

Press and Publicity? Now you’ve got my attention!

Okay, so that one wasn’t really a question, but it comes up a lot. We (Aflac) are partners with the PGA Tour, we sponsor the Heisman Trophy, and even have a NASCAR Racing team. Do you have a NASCAR team? We have traveling Mobile Retail Stores that we use to bring attention to your organization, throw parties, and make meetings fun and exciting. We take care to announce the event through press releases and local media (when appropriate) to make the maximum impact, and can even time their visits to your scheduled functions with enough planning time. This is a free service, and is our way of saying thanks for letting us serve your organization. They are a real hit at membership drives!

What if our Local already offers Aflac?

Please, don’t change a thing. We are the best at what we do, but we believe in relationships first. If you already have an Aflac agent serving your Local, we are happy to hear it! 

How do we get started?

Contact me through LinkedIn (, via email (, or text/call me at the number below. Myself or one of my team will be happy to help your Local grow!

So far, so good. Please continue to message me with questions, or post the comments here. I will be happy to answer anything at all!

Tim Allen, LBC
Union Benefits Pioneer
 Check out the new LinkedIn Group dedicated to discussions about Union growth and involvement in the community. A More Perfect Union: Outside of the Box Thinking. Join the group, join the discussion!
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Growing your Union Local: A Simple Step to True Growth

Union strong-512x288

You don’t compete with other employers, but your members look to you to guard their bottom line.

Plain and simple: your Union Local is competing for attention. And there is a lot of noise out there.

New members (especially today’s generation of Skilled Labor) have fairly high standards for engagement. You’ve seen it in the way they communicate: email, text, Twitter, FaceBook. You’ve seen it in their expectations for company websites, service-by-internet, quick access to information, schedules, calendars, newsletters and meeting information.

Perhaps you’ve upgraded your web presence, brought in professionals to manage Social Media and important information. If not, I’m sure it’s on your to-do list.

You’ve bargained very successfully on their behalf, brought great wages and solidarity to the work environment, made employers and contractors aware of the rules and lay of the land. Your Local is known in the area, and your reputation is solid.

But, it’s still hard to get the attention of new and prospective members, why?

They are waiting.

Waiting for you to do more.

There is more you can do, and it’s easier than you think. In fact, it will probably have the highest impact of anything you’ve done recently.

You can become their best source of supplemental benefits, in a way that was not possible just one year ago. Times have changed, access to insurance has changed, and finally, access to the most requested benefits in the workforce (after Major Medical) has radically changed.

Your Union Local can now offer the top three supplemental benefits–true Short-term Disability, Cancer Coverage, and Accident coverage–with no paperwork, no deductions, no headaches, and no administration of any kind. The Local can now partner with a Fortune 200 company for additional direct benefits that are available to every Union member without discrimination or approval from their employer, and the member will have you to thank. Best of all: It costs the Local nothing to make available. Absolutely zero. And we are the best in the world at what we do. Best coverage, best claims service, best local agents, and highest name recognition. Think about a soft drink. Chances are you’re thinking of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Think about electronics: Apple, Samsung. Coffee? Starbucks. Benefits? Aflac. Here’s how Aflac is even better with Union Benefit Pioneers at the wheel.

In the past, an agent would contact and attempt to work with your Local with little or no knowledge of how your organization operates.

Solved: Our folks work closely (and some exclusively) with Unions and know how to stay out of your hair.

In the past, an agent would ask for complex paperwork to be added to your staff’s workload, with deductions added to dues and invoices to be reconciled each month.

Solved: Our system uses a third-party billing system that keeps the invoices and deductions out of your office. We deal directly with the member, and serve them directly, on a convenient and local level.

In the past, an agent would ask for concessions from you on meetings, setting up shop to spread the word while you are trying to go about the business of communicating to your members.

Solved: Our system reaches out using only the methods you approve, and we can even hold our own meetings off-site to spread the word. We are tech-savvy and know how to reach your members and prospects on your terms.

In the past, someone may print a flyer, set up a table or bulletin board and hope for the best response.

Solved: Our system is designed to promote the Local first, membership second, and the benefits as an exclusive “right of membership” that shows your Local in the best possible role. You get all the credit and bragging rights.

In the past, complex versions of policies would be offered with no regard to your other Union partners already in place. Members woud be confused about what they qualify for, and what the best choices are.

Solved: We offer coverage only when it isn’t already available, or when you feel it falls short of a value. We bring in simple-issue and guaranteed-issue (no medical questions) options to keep things as easy as “yes” or “no, thanks”.

I could go on, but the simple fact is that the old ways aren’t working for anyone anymore. Locals need new brothers and sisters, they need existing members to start talking about them again. People need to see that associating with your Union is the best way to protect their paycheck, from the first penny earned to the last penny spent. Employers–most of the time–are doing all they can to provide coverage to and for their employees, but we all know they can fall short. Let’s face it, the employer just isn’t thinking about things the same way your members are. The employer has bigger pictures, larger dollar amounts, and other problems on their mind.

Let the employees come to you for the things they’re missing.

It will get them talking again, it will get them looking your way again. Fence-sitters will come down and ask you how to join up. People will see that you’re doing more for them than ever before.

Do more. Be more. Provide more. You don’t have to tell them how easy it was.

Tim Allen, Union Benefit Pioneer

Tagged , , , , , , ,