Feb. 7, 2023

676: You’re Probably Spending Too Much on Healthcare, & You Don't Have To

Unlocking the Secrets of Healthcare Spending: Expert Solutions for Smarter Coverage

Are you tired of overspending on healthcare? Do you feel like you're in the dark when it comes to choosing the right coverage for you and your family? Look no further! In this episode of The Brian Nichols Show, Brian sits down with health insurance expert Matt Allen to uncover the secrets of the industry and arm you with the knowledge you need to make smart decisions about your health coverage.

Matt shares his years of experience in the field and offers custom solutions to help you save money on your healthcare expenses, without sacrificing the coverage you need. From exploring group health plans to talking to an independent broker, you'll learn about the options available to you that the industry doesn't want you to know about!

But that's not all. Brian and Matt also tackle the fundamental question of what health insurance should actually be paying for. They challenge the status quo and explore the differences between health insurance and other types of insurance. This thought-provoking discussion will have you rethinking your approach to healthcare and better equipped to navigate the complex world of insurance.

Don't miss this chance to learn from the experts and take control of your healthcare expenses. Tune in now to The Brian Nichols Show and discover how you can get the coverage you need at a price you can afford!

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Brian Nichols  0:11  
You're probably spending way too much on health care. And yeah, you don't have to. Yeah, let's talk about that. Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, happy to be there folks trying to go if you're on The Brian Nichols Show, and thank you are joining us on another fun filled episode, I am as popular as your humble. Joining you live our Stratus ip Studios here in lovely Eastern Indiana, don't let cyber attacks or outdated Business Technology, put your company at risk. Learn more at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Stratus ip. So yeah, it's true, you're probably spending not just a little too much on your healthcare, but actually quite a bit too much on your health care. And this is a recurring theme for Americans across the board. And there's many reasons for it, namely the way our government approaches the healthcare industry. So joining us today to not just discuss this problem, but also to discuss a solution to said problem joining us from iconic insurance. Matt Allen. Matt, thanks for joining The Brian Nichols Show.

Matt Allen  1:25  
Thank you, Brian, it's pleasure to be on. That was probably the most enthusiastic health insurance introduction in the history of mankind. So I do appreciate that. Majority of people I know find my industry pretty dull. But luckily, there's one guy out there who finds it interesting. And hopefully, I can peel back some layers of the onion and help out your clients a little bit or your your listeners a little bit. Well, no, across

Brian Nichols  1:48  
the board. Yeah, clients, listeners, we got them all here at the show. And I'll start things off with a story. So my CEO for my day job, one of my favorite recurring things he does every year, every as we have our annual Big State of the Union company meeting, as he talks about in the health insurance. And the guy who does the health insurance for our company has an old, good buddy of his and he always jokes about how he goes, you're the only person I sit down with and talk about, you know, what we're looking at for the prospects for next year. And it's always worse than the year before. And he's like, so, you know, I don't know what to expect, you know, are rates going up? 5% 10% 20% hit me with it. So that's a recurring thing. I know, we see in my company, we see it across the board for a lot of companies, but also, regular families feel it when they're going and paying the bills, Matt. So you obviously brought a new solution to the table here at an iconic insurance. So do us a favor, talk about when you started iconic insurance? What was the main problem you identify, and how is iconic insurance helping solve that specifically when it comes to the government oversight and regulation.

Matt Allen  2:58  
So I've been in the health insurance industry for almost eight years, and I used to be just a straight sales representative for one company. We were doing one program, one company, and I gotta be perfectly honest, Brian, it was a really good program. It just didn't fit everybody. So I would end up going out to see folks and you know, maybe 60% 70% of them, I had the perfect solution to what they were looking for. I could help them out, I could navigate it. But 30 to 40% of people that we're sitting down with, I just couldn't help them. I knew from research and from digging up the dirt on my own which product did make sense for them. It's just my company didn't offer it at the time. So after about four years of that I got sick of it. A little over two and a half years ago, I started iconic insurance, and it's just an independent brokerage. So I went out there and I got contracts with all the different companies that I wanted to get contracts with. And we've come up with, you know, I don't want to say it's an across the board solution because it's not that's that's one area where healthcare and health insurance got a little muddied, is people demanded and wanted some sort of equitable, one size fits all solution to it. And we're all way too different for that. We're all in very different stages of our life, we all very different incomes for different zip codes, different health histories, different family sizes, different demographics, and it was just silly to try to create this one stop shop marketplace for everyone. And that's sort of where we come in. And now Now I'm not saying hey, we're just gonna get rid of the marketplace completely. But it is a tool that we do use in our in our tool belt, and we want to sort of take all the products that are available, do an individualized snapshot and individualized assessment and then we fit you into the right piece instead of just taking everybody to the same place. We look you we meet you where you're at. We look at your specific situation and based on these different levers that we pull on income or health or whatever will fit you with the A program and and where you're kind of leading me down the road. And I think what we kind of want to talk about a little bit is that a lot of the times depending on what your particular situation is, it's actually going to be multiple products that make the most sense for you, it's going to be sometimes layering these products, because what a lot of people have come to expect from their health insurance is not at all what you should be relying on insurance to pay for. And I'd love to unpack that. But we have this perverse idea of what health insurance should be paying for. And I'm not saying it as though people are dumb, or they're they're doing the wrong thing. They've been led down this path by the government, by health insurance companies, by their health care providers by just the general zeitgeist of our of our society. But it's not the best way to do insurance. And so I love to dive into that. If you think that would be something that would be interesting, because you mentioned these high costs these high everything.

Brian Nichols  5:58  
Let's jump right into it, man, because I think right there to your point, this is something that the audience is feeling right on a grand scale. So yeah, let's touch on this, please go ahead.

Matt Allen  6:08  
So it all started if, if we back up just a little bit, and I don't want to get too nerdy and tuned to the weeds, but think about insurance, think about your car insurance, think about your homeowners insurance, your life insurance, disability business. What do all those insurances have in common? They are all risk based products. Okay? They look at the three pillars of risk, when they are going to determine your premium they look at what's the likelihood of a claim. So let's take auto insurance, for example, they're going to look at your driving record, they're going to look where you park your car at night, they're going to look and see how many miles do you drive a year? So what's the likelihood of claim? Then they're gonna say, Hey, Matt, what do you want your car insured for? Do you want comprehensive? Do you want collision? Do you want uninsured motorist? Do you want windshield protection? What do you want to cover for? And then they're gonna say, How much do you want to covered for up to what certain limits do you want all of these things covered for, there's probably a lot of listeners out there who don't realize it, but your auto insurance has a limit. your homeowner's has a limit your disability, life insurance, if some people have pet insurance, they all have limits. And so by by calculating these three areas of risk, the likelihood what you want insured and for how much is how they determine your premium, where we got way off track with health insurance is they carved out this thing within health insurance. And they have meaning the government, within our society where it's it's this own version of insurance unlike any other kind that we have. And what I mean by that is when they came out with the Affordable Care Act, what they did, Brian is they eliminated risk from the equation. And now we're feeling the downstream effects from that. And both rising healthcare costs, rising deductibles and sort of like what your what your situation was with the health insurance guy that comes into your, into your company saying things just keep getting worse, things just keep getting more expensive. We're also seeing it in the rising premiums. So that's where the strain came in. And what I mean by the eliminated risk is for all of the good that the Affordable Care Act did, by allowing pre existing conditions to be covered by allowing anybody to get coverage and by allowing you to get a tax credit, if your income falls into a certain situation, for all the good that it did. Its undoing a lot of that good with these sort of perverse side effects that are coming down. And I've mentioned that a few times. If you think about the Affordable Care Act, the best and worst part of it is that everybody qualifies for it. Okay. Think about that, in any other type of insurance in the world, it just wouldn't work. If you were able to get unlimited DUIs, and hit and runs and still get StateFarm auto insurance for premium rates, it wouldn't work, it would never work. And so now I'm not saying that, that this is a bad program, we shouldn't allow these people to be insured. But to try to force everyone into this non risk based health insurance bucket, we're going to have some friction, we're going to have some problems. So they said that, hey, we're not going to assess the likelihood of a risk. They've been the the Affordable Care Act, we're going to insure everybody, and they didn't say, hey, what do you want to be insured for? They said, We're going to insure you for everything all the way from transgender reassignment surgeries, to birth control to hospitalization, surgical everything, we're going to cover everything. And then they didn't put a cap on the losses for the insurance company. They didn't say, How much do you want to be covered for? They said, Hey, you're covered for an unlimited amount of money. Now, when you eliminate all three pillars of risk, these health insurance companies on the marketplace are still in it to make money. So how are they going to make money now, they're going to turn it into a managed care plan. And what I mean by that is they're going to determine what's approved, they're going to determine where you can go and they're going to determine what they're going to pay on certain things. So when a lot of people sign up for one of these plans, they've got these artificially inflated premiums because the health insurance company doesn't know what they're walking into. You could be stage four cancer you you could need a hip replacement tomorrow. You could be eight months pregnant and they have to give you the health insurance and they have to cover you for everything. And so people are exploiting this rates are going up, deductibles are going up. And now what we're seeing is we're seeing this super condensed network where you can even take these marketplace plans, they're starting to become extremely limited networks, where, you know, the insurance companies are going to doctors and providers and saying, Hey, this is all we can afford to reimburse you, if you accept our insurance. This is it, we can only give you $5,000 For an appendectomy. And the doctors and hospitals are sitting over here saying, well, we usually charge 20, we can accept this insurance. And so people are signing up for these plans that cover them for everything. And they cover their pre existing conditions, but then nobody takes it. So what good is the insurance if you can't use it for what you need it for? So these are all sort of the downstream effects that we're seeing. And all of these big businesses, these big companies Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Humana, whichever health insurance company, you pick it, they're losing so much money in the individual market in the marketplace, that they're making it up by raising premiums across the board, which is possibly where your your boss and your at home job are feeling the squeeze. And so it's it's just all of these things are just cumulatively rolling downhill. And you'll never guess who's paying the most for it. But it's middle class America.

Brian Nichols  11:22  
And it's healthy folks to write. And I think that speaks to also why the current system is just so backwards, because it penalizes the folks who do go out of their way and they live a healthy lifestyle. And it rewards those who they go out of their way to almost purposefully live an unhealthy lifestyle. And I say that as someone I used to weigh 385 pounds, I've been on both sides of the spectrum watch. Yeah, I trust me. I know, I was a big boy. And I I know for a fact that if I had continued down the path I was going, I was going to be a litany of health issues. And I mean, who's gonna pay for that, me or my insurance? What's that gonna do to the rates? Right? So I by by default of being unhealthy was contributing to the problem, which I guess this goes to my next question that and that is, what's the difference here between health insurance, health care, and wellness true, like taking care of oneself in a more preventative way?

Matt Allen  12:23  
And so that sort of leads me into you, you sort of were leading me into this? Well, what's the solution? You know, what, what do you got? And, surprisingly enough, I am seeing a huge shift in free market solutions. And it makes me so happy to be able to say that, but you are, you are seeing all over the place. I'm based out of Indianapolis, a northern suburb called Carmel. And there are facilities popping up that have cash pay prices. And, you know, you can go and get imaging done, and it's just listed, what is the price so you have Northwest radiology, we have affordable MRI, we have open MRI, where they tell you, Hey, if you're coming in for an MRI, this is what it costs. We don't care what kind of insurance you have, we don't care at all, this is what it costs, you can go to LabCorp to get lab tests on bloodwork done, right on their website, you order it, you can pay for it, that's just what it costs. There's none of these hidden fees or anything. We even have, we have the luxury in Indianapolis to have the second ever cash pay surgical center that just has its prices listed on its website, you need your adenoids removed, you can schedule it at a facility called well bridge surgical in Zionsville, Indiana, and it will tell you exactly what it costs. They get you in there. They do they do it really well. They have one of the lowest infection rates in the country, all they do, there is the surgical, you go in, you pay the set price, and then you go out, it doesn't matter what kind of insurance you have, it doesn't matter any of that. And so these free market solutions are sort of bringing this transparency to health care costs. And how we pair that with our health insurance now is we need to think back about what insurance is, again, I don't want to keep beating this drum. But if you think about it, we're using health insurance for the wrong things. When I meant that insurance is a risk based product. Trying to use your health insurance for things that have nothing to do with risk is one of the most inefficient ways you can use it. So by using your insurance for these wellness things, while I think they're very important, it's an inappropriate use for it. That would be like whipping out your car insurance plan. When you need new wiper blades or when you need your tires rotated or when you need an oil change. How ridiculous would that be your car insurance shouldn't pay for that. Just like your health insurance shouldn't pay for you to go get your oil change on your body and go get your bloodwork done and all this stuff, you should have insurance. And these are some of the solutions that we have an iconic insurance. You should have insurance for those acute situations for those emergencies for the surgery for the hospitalization for the disease management, not for your annual physical not for your mammogram as nice as it is for those things to be cut. Byrd. If I'm an insurance company, and I tell you, Hey, Brian, I'm going to cover your yearly physical every year, don't even worry about it. If I know I'm going to incur that cost, I'm not just going to eat that, I'm going to prorate it out for your 12 months of premium, and I'm going to charge you for it, and you're just not going to see it when you show up at the doctor. And you're going to think, man, my insurance is so great. It lets me get my annual physical every five years I get a colonoscopy for free, Brian, you're paying for it. It's baked into the cost of your premium. So what I have found, and what I've done by going out on the open market is I found these solutions were you have to be healthy enough to qualify. But there are programs out there that help individuals. And these health insurance products are work the same exact way as all the other insurance products in the history of mankind have worked. They're still risk based. So what I mean by that is they do medical underwriting, it is not difficult to get through, I think some upwards of 92% of people who apply for it get through. It's not a difficult thing to get through. It's not a physical, you're not running a mile on a treadmill. They just look at prescription history, then they want to see well, what do you want to be covered for? They're going to ask you, do you want disease protection, hospitalization, surgery, accident, emergency room, doctor visits, what do you want to be covered for? And then they're going to say, How much do you want to be covered for? There's limits on these plants that makes some people uncomfortable. But these limits are very high. They're very comfortable. They're not meant for poor claims experiences. But those are the types of programs that we're letting that we're leading people to we're saying, Hey, if you need bloodwork, go to the cash pay bloodwork center, you know what it's going to be, you know what it's going to cost, you know what they're going to charge, don't have your insurance pay for that, hey, you need to go get your physical, just go to go to your doctor, tell them you'll pay cash, it's probably 100 bucks, why would you pay for your insurance to cover that stuff. So it's all these free market solutions that are sort of leading people in certain places. And if you're more proactive with your wellness, if you want, you know, maybe a weight management program, maybe you want to lean on a primary care physician more, there are hundreds of these new facilities popping up called direct primary care facilities, where you essentially are paying a membership to a doctor's office. And oftentimes, this was a primary care physician who worked at one of the big box hospital chains, and just got sick of it, they got sick of seeing 3040 patients a day, not being able to develop any relationships, not being able to provide any type of care. They said, See you later IU Health and they went and they opened up their own shop hung their own shingle, my guy right now I pay $75 a month, I get unfettered access to his to his medical facility, I never have co pays, I can text him about things, I can video chat with him, I see him same or next day, we can email stuff, he handles any prescriptions that I might have, he helps me get on good RX and find my prescription at the cheapest pharmacy and he phones are right in, it's unbelievable the amount of things that that are starting to become available. And when you add in private insurance, you can add in a stop loss program. I've got the stop loss programs, Brian that that handle with the limits of some of these health insurances, we've got a stop loss program that can come in, and with my direct primary care, so I'm talking about having no network health insurance, I can go wherever I want to go, I have a $5,000 stop loss on any medical incident. And I have a personal doctor who I have unfettered access to who I can see whenever I want. The total cost of that is cheaper than the cheapest silver plan on the marketplace for me. So I'm getting all the benefits of it. I'm getting all the network flexibility. I want lower deductibles lower out of pocket Max, personal doctor care, but you have to be willing to do insurance in a different way and see it in a different light. People are so ingrained to think well, my wellness is covered. Well, I need to make sure my doctors are in network, I want a one size fits all plan that I can just get. Unfortunately, that plan doesn't exist anymore outside of the marketplace. And don't get me wrong, Brian, I'll take people to the marketplace. If you have a chronic chronic chronic pre existing condition. If you qualify for a large tax credit on the on the Health Insurance Marketplace, that's going to be the right fit for you. But for those people that you were kind of talking about those people who are footing the bill or the Healthy People, definitely give me a call come to the website, just see what's available out there. Because you could be paying way too much. This could be a lot simpler if you're just willing to think about in a different way and lean on that free market a little bit to see what kind of solutions people are coming up with because this is a healthcare crisis right now. And if and we shouldn't be expecting health insurance companies to to fix it and we shouldn't be expected expecting the government to fix it. Free market. It's still exists. It's still alive. I swear to you, it's out there and they're coming up with some pretty cool stuff for healthcare.

Brian Nichols  19:50  
Could you quickly outline where folks could find those direct primary care doctors that you mentioned because I think that right there is definitely sending Have some some pique interest light bulbs and all the audience who are like, well, I want to learn more. Is there a master list of these types of doctors that you can find? How would one even go about as a Google as simple as that chat GPT, what does

Matt Allen  20:15  
it so you can probably put this in the show notes, but I'll give you the URL right now, I'm not sure who put this thing together, Brian, I would love to plug him or buy him a beer someday, because it's so handy. I don't know if he even makes any money, but it's Macker. So that's m a p p e r dot d P C as in direct primary care, then the word frontier. So mapper dot DPC frontier, f r o n t i e r.com. And when you first pull it up, it gives you a little rundown on what what direct primary care is. But it gives you this map of the United States and it's got all these green dots, blue dots, red dots, yellow dots, and these are all different types of concierge medicine or direct primary care. And what all those dots represent, you know, you can search by your zip code or your whatever, I don't get any money from it. I'm certainly not the genius put it together, but go there, it's free of charge. And it lets you know, just any direct primary care physician who wanted to be listed on it, I think is allowed to do it free of charge. And that's where I met all of these wonderful people in Indianapolis, I think I have 15 contacts now of these people who who I help out, and when you're able to pay or direct primary care, because let's be honest, for really healthy people, that's probably all the care they're ever going to need is the acute little sinus infection, or maybe a suture here or there. You know, I've got a fever that won't go down or my daughter needs. My daughter needs a flu shot or so you know, it's all these things that can just be done in the in the privacy of a doctor's office, if you're willing to pay that membership, get some catastrophic health insurance with a stop loss, you're going to save so much money, you're not going to have network issues, you're going to get personal direct care. I would think that that would be a great place for people to start is right at that mapper dot DPC. frontier.com.

Brian Nichols  22:05  
Well, we always talk about bringing solutions to the table here at The Brian Nichols Show. And I guess as I kick off, final thoughts here today, Matt, I say You're welcome audience because of all the solutions we brought to the audience here over the past nearly 676 other episodes of The Brian Nichols Show, I think this might be the one that most directly can impact the audience right now, literally right now. So if you're looking to save some money on your healthcare, well, here's a way to do it. And not only is there a way you can do it right now. And it's going to be real time instantaneous results. And this is something that I think we as members of the Liberty community have a responsibility to share with other folks, because this is stuff that works. And this changes the conversation. No longer is the conversation about Medicare for all. Now we're having conversations about how do we change the health care system that we changed the way we approach insurance, we changed the way we approach health care and preventative care and wellness, we change the conversation, we will inevitably change the outcomes. That's my final thoughts. Matt, what do you have for us today, as we wrap things up here in The Brian Nichols Show,

Matt Allen  23:13  
I think you summed it up perfectly. That's a great way to phrase it is we just need to change our perception of what healthcare is what health insurances and just look at it in a new light and make it work for us. Instead of relying on them to come up with something that will work for us. You have solutions, you have options, you can make it work for yourself. People can find me at iconic dash insurance.com. You can always call or text me 317-828-5880. We've got we've got a way right on the website, you can set up a free consultation with me you do your health snapshot, you fill out six, six areas of information, we never ask for your phone number, we're never going to call you unless you really really want us to. It's all done via email, because I've heard horror stories of people putting their phone number in on the wrong website. And they never stopped getting phone calls. We're not that website. We don't do that. We've got educational videos, we've got blogs go there, you'll learn something. And you can set up a time to sit down with me and over zoom. And we can walk through your situation and I can give you some some examples, some recommendations and maybe we can get you in the right vehicle for you and your family.

Brian Nichols  24:17  
Now, Matt, really quickly another really fast follow up. I know you're based in Indiana like yours truly, but a lot of our audiences across the continental United States. Does that matter? Are they able to reach out to you regardless?

Matt Allen  24:29  
They absolutely are. I will talk to anybody about anything. I'm presently licensed in 20 of the 50 states and if there is someone in a state that I'm not currently licensed in, but they need help, it's as easy as me going to the licensure website and and buying a license. Some of them range from $2 a year to 600. Wink wink, Illinois, and, you know, I'll help anybody. There's a little less flexibility when you get when you move towards the coasts here In the Midwest, and then the Rockies, whatever, there's a lot of more free market solutions. But no matter what it is, even I found that sometimes I'll meet with somebody, and I'll just tell them, hey, honestly, you're in a pretty good situation, you're, you're honestly in the best spot that you could be in. You may want to think about using this if you need this, or use that program if you need that. But even that can make a lot of people feel better and feel a little more relief about okay, well, even Matt said that we're in a pretty good spot, I might not like it. But you know, he'll let me know if anything changes. And so we sometimes give that reassurance to some people, because there are smart people out there who find the right thing. But sometimes it helps to have your handheld a little bit and walk you through this chaos and say, Here, here's some best practices about how to stretch your dollars and then still have access to the care you need, if you need it. You know, we can't forget that you know, What's great with wellness and everything, but there are accidents for a reason. I mean, look at Lance Armstrong, he had how many different types of cancer and the guys riding, however many miles on his bike, have day, perfect Pinnacle Health, anything can happen to anybody. So it's important to be covered, protect your finances, protect your family and, and get that type of wellness that you need.

Brian Nichols  26:11  
Well, and I mean, we all just went through this thing over the past three years was that called? Something like that, where I was told that I was on essential, and I didn't know I was gonna be able to get access to a doctor. So yeah, a little important to be able to have a an option beyond the traditional system that we know and love. No, not so much. But hey, we will obviously continue this conversation, folks. Thank you for joining us, Matt. And folks, if you enjoy this conversation, and you want to continue the conversation, well, here's what I asked you to do. Go ahead, first, share today's episode when you do tag yours truly at B nickels liberty, but number two, please reach out to Matt and if you do, please tell him that you heard him on The Brian Nichols Show because he wants to help save you money and I want to make sure that we get him as many people as we can going his route because he's doing some great things there. So do me a favor, please reach out to Matt tell him you heard him on the show. And also folks by the way, we're going to continue the conversation with another phenomenal episode here. All you got to do if you're joining us on YouTube, click the video it's gonna pop right up here. It's where I was joined by Jacob Beckley back last year. We are talking about the pediatric cancer research he's doing changing the game over there. He's using cryptocurrency to do that. Go ahead, check that conversation out. But if you're joining us here on the podcast version of the show will thank you for joining us click the artwork in your podcast catcher. It'll bring you over to today's episode where you can find Yes, the transcript from today's episode all the aforementioned links, plus you can find all 676 other episodes of The Brian Nichols Show but with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Matt Allen from iconic insurance. We'll see you tomorrow.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai