30 May GDP Advisors Changing the Insurance Industry
Navigating the insurance world, especially when it comes to health care and risk management, can be time consuming, confusing, and sometimes stressful. Well luckily there are some out there changing the way the game is played and taking a different approach to lead you through the process.
When you’re trying to pick a health care insurance plan for you and your family, or you and your company – you may be asking questions like, how is my premium so high? Why does it only cover this? Why is it so high?
Well – one group of advisors say it all comes down to asking the right questions.
“So if you understand what’s the motivator behind the insurance company,” says Seth Denson, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist GDP Advisors, “you understand the motivator behind the doctor and the provider and the hospital and the pharmaceutical company and the PBM, the distributor of the drugs, then you can start to look at where the money is and how to play it and just like any other consumer or advocate when it comes to consumers you can start to move the needles by shifting where people access care, how they access care when they go there and managing those funds just like an asset manager would.”
Seth Denson and John Powter, CEO of GDP Advisors, merged their two companies five years ago to create GDP Advisors.
“Obviously insurance is the core of our value, we are an insurance brokerage. We are also, you’ll notice we have advisors in our name,” says Powter. “The reason is that is consultants is an often overused term in our industry. Everybody wants to be a consultant if they’re an insurance agent, and I’ve hired a lot of consultants in my life. Consultants to me are great, they point out a bunch of problems and then they send you a big bill afterwards. The reason we call ourselves advisors is, whenever we bring an issue to our clients, we always bring a solution.”
Powter’s background is more in the commercial side and risk management, and Denson’s is in the health insurance industry.
“On the health insurance side there’s no transparency, whereas on the commercial side it’s all transparent,” says Powter. “So I think I brought a different fresh set of ideas of why? Why can’t we get transparency? Why can’t we give data? And I think that helped formulate with Seth, who’s brilliant and is really the brain child behind the health care programs we have, I thought the challenge from my side of ‘well that doesn’t make sense’ and ‘that’s not the way we do it over there’ helped us to propel what we have today and create something that’s fully transparent that if we do have to give an increase, which if you look at our history our average increase has been four percent. That’s unheard of in the health insurance industry and we’re doing that year and year again and I think that’s what propelling us to have the success because now we can go into a CFO, and we can give them something or a CEO and say ‘you can budget at four percent.’”
“Recognizing that it’s owner intertwined all connected recognizing at hospitals doctors systems insurance companies prescription drugs Pharma it is all connected it’s a six of the US economy,” says Denson, “and they’re all playing off of one another and the messenger to make sure we keep everybody at bay is the health insurance broker right for years I played into that and I was compensated very handsomely for making sure I didn’t mess with the status quo. Just keep perpetuating the problem keep returning and I had what a lot of my friends called my Jerry Maguire moment which is where I had this epiphany. I had a young lady that was dealing with a cancer issue and the insurance company was denying the claim and really got in there and we were able to solve her problem but the way we did it was we had nothing to do with health insurance I really had everything to do with really understanding what was going on and I came back from that really changed.“
While Powter’s worked in the industry since college…”It’s all i’ve ever done so if you look up insurance geek in the dictionary, there’s a picture of me in there.”
…Denson’s path had a couple of twists: “Growing up my father was a pastor of a church and I thought I would always follow in his footsteps. It was my father actually who encouraged me to pursue a vocation outside of the life of ministry and so I did. We were raised in our family to always have a higher calling for something that brought relevance to our lives and for the first decade of my career and health insurance industry was about it was about the title the money and the things that this life afforded and i’ll tell you life was good. But there was always that missing piece of what is the mark I’m leaving on the world and what am I doing that’s better for others.”
So using that higher calling and the definition of insurance geek – they’re changing each customer’s definition of coverage.
“We’re doing things in healthcare and with liability that no one else in the country is doing,” says Powter. “Everybody separates themselves by service or people return phone calls and if you don’t do that in our industry you’re going to get fired, that just makes sense. We’re doing things is we’re helping customers really take ownership in their insurance policies and turn it from a transaction, it’s typically in our world, and really treat it almost like an asset.”
“That is really our role, is we consider ourselves an asset manager for healthcare expenditures for employers to drive costs down,” says Denson.
Most employers can agree… when it comes to health insurance… “cost down” is usually a good thing.