On first blush, it shouldn't seem odd that we would add Guardian and EyeMed to our portfolio. They are both very reputable brand name carriers who fill a need. But as you read on, you may find the actual needs they filled for us may not be what you expected.
Let's start with EyeMed. We've been working with EyeMed for years through Companion Life and we feel comfortable in EyeMed's wonderful network and very easy way of doing business. Benefit Profiles has been quoting stand-alone carriers for a while but not under any specific GA contract. Now, that is all up-to-date and we are able to service your stand-alone vision groups as needed.
Guardian is a great fit for Benefit Profiles for several reasons. The main reason is their ease of doing business for group Critical Illness, Accident, Cancer and Hospital Indemnity. As we have gone through many rounds of quoting these types of products for small groups, we have found that certain carriers fit at certain times. From what I've seen and learned so far, we can break worksite products down into two distinct categories--those built by the individual companies (Colonial, Aflac, Washington National) and those built by the core group companies (Guardian, MetLife, etc.).
This can be tricky to navigate for a traditional core benefits agent. The individual carriers have special riders and special conditions to get to guarantee issue and they do take some getting used to when it comes to enrolling. These carriers are experts at training agents on how to get products sold and how to enroll them. They are great partners, especially when there is an enrollment problem to solve or in the case of taking over current worksite coverage. They know the business so well and they have resources and ideas that are invaluable.
Guardian is a bit different. Their products are built with the ability to customize but they don't get too much into the weeds with riders and special conditions to achieve guarantee issue. The result is the products feel much more like traditional group products. They are laid out in a straight line: product, rate and participation requirement for guarantee issue. The result is a quote that can be replicated quickly and in a format that is easy to process for the busy group benefits agency.
In addition to the marketing, Guardian stands out in its administration. Other traditional core dental/life carriers have built critical illness, cancer, and these types of products but they've patched them into or built them on top of the core systems which results in different bills and systems. With Guardian, all the products are built in one system. They go on one bill and employers can find one specific point of access online for admin. This is a huge point not to be overlooked!
Finally, Guardian is not afraid of small groups. They have voluntary solutions and they only need five enrolled to place their products with guarantee issue--another huge key!
If you are interested in Guardian’s worksite products here are some that we quote quite often. It’s also important to note that these products can be tweaked and changed per group but these are nice starters.
Critical Illness—this offers a $10,000 guarantee issue when at least five lives are enrolled with cancer and second events covered and a wellness benefit included.
Accident—there are three levels of coverage, we typically sell the middle plan. There is no wellness on the shelf plan, but we can add which makes this a competitive level of coverage.
Hospital Indemnity—this is probably Guardian's strongest product; can be sold voluntary or contributory; pays flat amounts for hospital admission; very important compliment to medical.
Cancer—this plan is solid, but we recommend bundling it with Critical Illness.