How to Incorporate Health Planning into Your Practice
Episode 8121st September 2022 • Human-centric Investing Podcast • Hartford Funds
00:00:00 00:24:54

Share Episode


Rising healthcare costs and insufficient insurance are helping drive up the retiree bankruptcy rate. Healthpilot CEO David Francis shares how financial professionals can bring together health and wealth planning to help.


Julie Genjac [:

financial professionals day in and day out. And obviously with rising inflation and so much

uncertainty in our world, I think that oftentimes financial professionals are changing the

conversation a bit with clients. But sometimes if you haven't had conversations such as diving

deeply into medical costs and options and coverage, it can be challenging to change the

conversation. Have you found that financial professionals are struggling with how to change the

dialog, especially right now?

John Diehl [:

of maybe I see in financial professionals is as soon as Medicare and supplemental insurance

comes up, we start looking for the fire escape. Right. Get me out of this conversation. But more

and more, if we just look at demographics of our customers, we're going to be asked. Right. To

learn a little bit more about it, maybe provide a little guidance.

Julie Genjac [:

incorporate health planning into your practice. We are so fortunate to be joined by Dave Francis,

CEO of Health Pilot Technologies. And John, I'm really excited to hear what he has to say about

how we can change the conversation and engage more deeply with our clients on resources

around health care coverage.

John Diehl [:

Julie Genjac [00:01:31] And I'm Julie.

John Diehl [:

Julie Genjac [00:01:37] Every other week, we're talking with inspiring thought leaders to hear their

best ideas for how you can transform your relationships with your clients.

John Diehl [:

decades. Dave has been at the forefront of leveraging information technology in the health care

market with a passion for improving the customer experience in health care and a strong belief

that transformation of individual wellness and market efficiency can be gained only by focusing

on each individual customer within the context of the larger market. Dave co-founded Health Pilot

to be a deep, trusted partner of every health care consumer. Prior to co-founding Health Pilot

Dave was Chief Operating Officer and chief financial officer at E-health, where he led the

's turnaround and growth from:

price rose by more than ten times during his tenure. Prior to e-health, Dave was an industry

leading investment banker and research analyst, focused on the health care information

technology industry, leading Wall Street firms, including the Royal Bank of Canada and Jefferies

and Company. Dave is well known for his strategic vision in the health care and technology

markets and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on finance, health care and technology

innovation. They've earned a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of the University of

Pennsylvania. Dave, welcome to our podcast.

Dave Francis [:

Julie Genjac [00:03:12] Dave, it's interesting as we think about health care coverage and and

financial professionals and working with their clients and, you know, engaging in meaningful

conversations around this really important topic. It seems like historically there's it's been a quilt

or a piecemeal solution, you know, engaging individuals who maybe have some expertize,

possibly using some resources online or whatever one has in their network. And as you looked to

build a comprehensive technology platform to address this, I'm curious, what were some of the

things going through your mind or what was some of the feedback that you had received? I just

think that this is such an important conversation and topic, and we'd love to get into your head as

to the genesis of this this platform and and how you see the world and moving forward and

helping financial professionals truly deliver comprehensive advice and solutions to their clients,

especially in an ever changing world.

Dave Francis [:

team here at Health Pilot come from health care information technology and Medicare insurance

background having served, you know, millions of customers over the last several years and the

the process by which individual customers and there's 65 million of them across the United

States today who are either in or about to be in retirement age, the need to access Medicare,

health insurance, the process by which these folks get their their information and try as they might

to figure out what's the best product for me and what's the best plan, and am I in the right plan

and can I be confident about this? It is a horror show. The process. And as a financial adviser,

you're you've got enough on your plate. You're ill equipped to to move out of the financial realm

into the health care realm, which represents 20% of the GDP in the in the country, and be a

master of both of those worlds. So the idea of referring a financial adviser, referring their customer

out into the marketplace to say, hey, maybe try this as a resource to figure out what's the best

health insurance plan for you is kind of like taking your client and throwing them to the wolves,

because if you think about what's out there in the marketplace today, there's there's a bunch of of

advisors that Medicare insurance advisors that will come to a person's house and drink their

coffee and eat their cookies and push across the kitchen table. Here's the best plan for you and

just sign here and don't worry about it or folks that that will find them on the telephone. And God

forbid, these folks put their their telephone number into a into a Web search address, because

they almost have to go into the witness protection program, given how frequently that phone

number is sold off to to to fly by night. Medicare insurance brokers who will call and call and call

until they get somebody on the line. It's just it's a bad experience for folks. We recently

commissioned a survey and we found that of a of the thousand seniors that we talked to, the NPS

score for Medicare shopping in the marketplace today is -15. That that is a far cry from the from

the world beating experience of Internet providers and cable providers and other folks that people

hate to deal with this experience is that much worse than than even that. So when when my team

and I came up with the concept for health pilot, the question we asked was simply How can we

create a better experience for individuals? That is easy, confidence, inspiring, has all the

information in one place that they would need the technology to help each individual, given their

current health and economic circumstances, figure out exactly what what Medicare insurance

product and which plan within that product set is best for them, and then allow them to enroll

right there online in about 10 to 15 minutes without ever having to talk to a pushy salesman or

somebody that that that really doesn't have their best interests at heart. They're just looking to

cash a commission check and then ultimately lift that burden for the customer for the rest of their

lives using the data and the technology that that that we that we use on behalf of the customer to

make sure that they are taken care of in a way that is white glove in nature first class that they

have ultimate confidence in and know that they never have to worry about their health insurance

again because we had health pilot have them covered relative to knowing what's best for them,

given what's available in the marketplace for them.

John Diehl [:

the way we dealt with this and I wouldn't say it's wrong in all circumstances is for the the financial

professional to say, look, health, health insurance, Medicare, Medicare planning, it's not really

something we do here at my firm. Right. So I don't want to fake it. Right, because I really don't

know. But what from your standpoint, is the risk in me approaching that client in that way? And is

that risk increasing in any way as we as we move forward? I mean, is this something that I really

need to be involved with or is this something that I should want to be involved with? Or is this

something if I'm in the wrong spot, I should just stay away from it totally and said, I'm sorry, I

can't help you with that.

Dave Francis [:

you're paid to service your client. And you cannot divorce health care and health insurance from

your financial plan. It is it is separate from the making sure that you have enough enough

resources to retire the way that you want to as a client. It is the most consequential question that

that a senior has to answer for themselves. How am I going to access health care? How am I

going to pay for it? And am I covered in the right way to to make sure that I can see my doctor,

get my drugs paid for, and if I have some kind of catastrophic event, that it's not going to

bankrupt me from a financial planning perspective. So for a financial advisor, it's absolutely

something that you you need to be in a position to to service your client most effectively with. But

again, back to the original question relative to where do I find the resources for this? I just I'm not

equipped to handle it as a financial advisor, given all the complexity and the changes that that

happen in the marketplace year after year after year, the the best pathway up until now for

financial advisor has been to to have a relationship or a resource that they know of and or trust in

some way, shape or form to to refer that customer. Out of their their ecosystem and their network

to say, hey, I know a guy and go to go talk to Joe over here and Joe will help you with your

Medicare insurance. The problems with that are multiple in that you don't know. You lose track of

what's happening for that customer at that point in time. You don't know what what, if any, plan

they're getting into, how that impacts the financial plan that you've been spending all of this time

and money to to to set up for them. You have no idea if that Medicare advisor is is also licensed

to sell additional financial products that they are. You can bet from a commission perspective

looking to sell your your client on which will have an impact on the financial plan that you've been

building for all of these years and the relationship that you've got as well. So making sure that that

you're able to to address that customers needs relative to their health insurance needs without

putting them at risk of going to a bad actor or somebody that's going to put them into a bad

product or affect the financial plan that you've spent so much time to build is is incredibly

impactful. The other thing that I would mention to you this, the survey that we just did, only 2% of

the customers out there that we were able to survey said that they rely on their financial advisor

for any kind of help with with Medicare insurance, which speaks to the fact that that, again, most

of that activity has to be referred out of the out of the network. So the the the ability for a financial

advisor to engage in a conversation intelligently and thoughtfully with a with a new and incredibly

unique and valuable resource to help them with this this highly consequential issue is is game

changing from a relational perspective and from a financial planning perspective for every

financial advisor out there? This is this is easy confidence inspiring and effective and closes off

that that out of network leakage issue that that that financial advisors have as it relates to

Medicare insurance.

Julie Genjac [:

when John and I speak with financial professionals about their client relationships and the topics

that they discuss with them. Oftentimes, if a financial professional hasn't necessarily engaged in

conversations like we're talking about right now in maybe a deep level, maybe they've touched it

on the surface and kind of had these higher level conversations maybe to to account for the

financial plan or the budgeting. But if they haven't truly delved into this topic in a meaningful way,

sometimes it can be hard to to start that right off today. That wasn't part of my conversation

process. But tomorrow, all of a sudden it is. Can you help us or for the financial professionals that

are listening today, for those that are saying, I really like this idea, I didn't know this resource

existed, I need to make this a part of my conversation. But how do I start to change the dialog?

What have you seen in terms of best practices or ways that financial professionals have gone

about this? I'm sure you've seen it all, so I would love to share some of that guidance with our

audience today.

Dave Francis [:

lack of of the availability of a tool like like that which we brought to health or to market with health

pilot. This is a hard conversation that most people typically do shy away from in the in the

financial advisory space. And what we've done is made this easy for everybody. And to be

honest, the the simple way to get into this is, hey, Mrs. Smith or Mr. Smith, what are you doing for

your Medicare insurance these days? And just open the door knowing that you've got a solution

in your back pocket, that that an easy referral into the health pilot platform will will not only solve

this issue for your for your client, but probably create a significantly better experience for them

both in the confidence of what they're getting into, as well as just not having to deal with all that

noise and the bad actors that we talked about before. It's an easy entry point to just just ask the

simple question, what are you doing? Because they'll either say that they'll probably tell you a

story about, Oh, my God, you would not believe the guy that I had to talk to last week about this

or whatever the the experience might have been. You might learn that they've got a great

resource that can ultimately be a great resource for you. But the point is that you can open the

door to this conversation knowing that you've got confidence in a solution in the health pilot

platform or through an easy email referral, either through your your wealth box integration or

Redtail integration or through through money guide or other platform data integrations that we

have puts you in a position to, to, to engage with this, this, this client. In a way that they've

they've never been able to before. It's very simple for you without having to get into any of the

details of who are your doctors, what drugs are you taking, how much you're paying for

premiums, and all of the different things that make this a very complex and scary conversation.

You lay all of that off on us and within 15 minutes, in a super easy to use, highly confident

environment, we find using our proprietary technology. The best health insurance plan for Mrs.

Smith, given her health and economic circumstances, and make sure that everything works to the

the way that they expect.

John Diehl [:

look, technology platforms like Health Pilot are fairly new to the marketplace, I would assume.

And for for financial professional, I think the concern is not only my initial introduction, but let's

say quotes come back. Client says, Hey, I really like this idea, right? This is what this this

recommendation was. But I have a few questions. Right. What about this medical device or what

about this drug that, you know, I just started taking that, you know, is there where do they go for

answers? Because if they come back to me, the financial professional, I know just as little about

all those technicalities as I did when I introduced them. Where do they go? Kind of post decision,

if you will.

Dave Francis [:

just kidding. We take care of all that on our end as well. So in addition to the technology platform,

we recognize that the people to to instill the sense of confidence that folks need to understand

that. Yes, I do see why why this plan was recommended to me. I see all the others that I might be

able to take a look at, but I'm confident that this is right for me. But I have some of those

questions. Is is this specialist that I that I see in my network or what why does why does the the

pharmaceutical costs donut hole start in July for this plan, but in September for this other plan

and I don't get it, we have that covered on our end with a a team of licensed insurance

professionals who are who are there through either chat or telephonic engagement to be able to

answer all of those questions for folks. So we've built the platform to to answer what we believe,

as is virtually every question that anybody could ask and make it again, incredibly intuitive and

easy to understand that this is why we've determined that this is the best plan for you and all of

the the different components of it. But for those folks that need some handholding and some

additional help, either from a technology perspective or to better understand the the ins and outs

of the products that are being presented to them, this team of what we call copilots stand at the

ready to to answer anybody's questions either either on the phone or through chat technology or

otherwise. So for the financial advisor, it really is a clean handoff of of the Medicare insurance

issue to us to work on for your client on your behalf. Give them the white glove service that you

expect and make sure that your relationship with that client is is protected in every way from a

service perspective, from a product delivered perspective, and any questions that they might

have. Everything is white glove in nature. And it it's something that we need for the financial

advisor to have confidence in, for the customer to have confidence in, for this all to work well.

And again, it's just a quantum leap forward in terms of the customer experience, in the way that

they're there accessing health or health care, health insurance and Medicare insurance today.

Julie Genjac [:

practices really speak to them and are so powerful. Do you have an example or a scenario that

you can share with us? Because I'm sure you've seen it all, where maybe a client either was

paying way too much for coverage that didn't apply, or all the coverage they had was exactly the

opposite of what they actually needed just to sort of bring this to the forefront for a financial

professional that's thinking about how to engage this or how to incorporate this into his or her


Dave Francis [:

on a on a two dimensional dollars and cents perspective. Nearly nine out of ten folks that visited

health pilot in the in the annual enrollment period last year. And that's the that's the fourth quarter

time period when virtually everyone all of those 65 million Medicare eligible individuals are able to

come into the marketplace and and re shop for new insurance. And there's all kinds of regulations

around that it that, again, we we solve for and make it simple for folks. But but again, almost nine

out of ten folks that visited us, we were able to find four for each of them, a health plan that was

significantly better for them from a cost perspective that still had all of their doctors covered in

network, had all of their drugs covered at the at the optimum price point. It provided additional

services like gym memberships and dental and vision and all of the things that that people

oftentimes don't get but should be getting in there in their health plan and save them thousands

of dollars. That it's it's important to note that of those 65 million people, I could make an

argument that every single one of those should have some kind of commercial health insurance in

addition to what the what the government provides because of all of the cost savings that come

from that and increases in benefits and their ultimate wellness. But the reality is that about four in

ten Americans that are that are of Medicare age. So you're you're talking about a significant I

mean, tens of millions of folks do not have any commercial coverage. And for those folks that

come into health pilot, on average, we save them well over $5,000 a year relative to what they're

paying out of pocket for health care and typically significantly increasing the the benefits that they

are receiving from a coverage perspective. So the whether it's somebody being on a on an a sub

suboptimal plan today from a commercial perspective where we can save them hundreds if not a

couple thousand dollars a year and get them into a better plan. Or for those folks who are just in

traditional Medicare that need to get better coverage at a much better cost cost point, we are we

are helping virtually everyone that comes in to our platform find a significantly better health

insurance product for them. And the best part is that they never have to worry about it again

because we stay and we stay engaged with them for the rest of their lives, making sure that as

their health and economic status changes over time and the marketplace changes over time, we

are matching them up with the best health insurance product for them in the Medicare market, no

matter what's going on in their life, so that they don't have to worry about this anymore.

John Diehl [:

I went to see a benefits agent, I would assume that, you know, they would be paid through some

kind of a commission. And I guess so the question is, is there a cost or a subscription fee to

access a platform like health pilot makes available? And if that kind of how did the economics

work? Probably a tough question to ask you with just a couple minute response, but hey, why


Dave Francis [:

customer a dime. The the plan that we would provide to the customer, you will pay exactly the

same in terms of premium and expect it out of pocket. If you went straight to UnitedHealthcare or

Humana or Cigna or whomever, the the insurance company is all all of those. All of those costs

are the same. This to be to be perfectly blunt, we get paid by the health insurance company on a

commission basis, but the customer is never sold on our on our platform. It's it's come here. We'll

find you the best plan given our technology and our capabilities. And we'll let you get enrolled in

that plan right away. And it doesn't cost you a thing. The financial advisor same thing. Not a not a

single penny to access our our platform to use our our portal, that it allows us to communicate

back to you what it is that your your client's cost is and coverage profile looks like. Again we just

we lift this off of you with with with no cost involved at all.

Julie Genjac [:

confident John has as well. And for those financial professionals listening that are interested in

incorporating health pilot to their practice and their client conversations, feel free to visit Health

Pilot dot com slash advisor to begin your journey in making health care easy, efficient and

effective for your senior clients. In addition, Dave would strongly encourage you to visit Health

Pilot on behalf of your clients for a medicare checkup during the annual enrollment period, which

is October 15th through December 7th. A great time to refresh all the coverage and make sure

that everything is current and up to date. Dave, thank you again for taking the time to be with us

today on our Human Centric Investing podcast.

Dave Francis [:

Julie Genjac [00:24:26] Thanks for listening to the Hartford Funds Human Centric Investing

Podcast. If you'd like to tune in for more episodes, don't forget to subscribe wherever you get

your podcasts and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.

John Diehl [:

client relationships, email us a guest booking at Hartford Funds dot com. We'd love to hear from


Julie Genjac [:

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the guest, who is not affiliated with Hartford Funds.

Links to a non-Hartford Funds site are provided for users’ convenience only. Hartford Funds does not control or

review these sites nor does the provision of any link imply an endorsement or association of such non-Hartford Fund

sites. Hartford Funds is not responsible for and makes no representation or warranty regarding the contents,

completeness or accuracy or security of any materials on such sites. If you decide to access such non-Hartford Funds

sites, you do so at your own risk.