From the January 2011 issue of Benefits Selling Magazine •Subscribe!

Consumer-Driven Health Trailblazer

While there's a lot you could say about Dan Morrill and his company, Dynamic Benefit Systems, and how the consumer-driven health care market might benefit from their software, I always like to dive right into the most creative characteristic of one's personality. I want to understand first what makes them tick, what gives them their passion for this market.

It only took a couple of hours to find out Morrill's the hot wing champion of Oshkosh, Wis., having completed the Blazing Wing Challenge in less than 52 seconds.

He drinks gallons of sugar-free Red Bull. And he can put his entire fist in his mouth.

Even if I didn't know Dan, I could have picked him out of a crowd for being a consumer direct advocate. If you're going to survive -- let alone thrive -- in this era of health care "rebuilding," you've got to have a strong stomach, lots of energy, and, honestly, a big mouth.

Having all of the essential bases covered, Morrill's also blessed with a wonderful, supportive wife and two beautiful children. They keep the wing man grounded, he says. Morrill gave up his comfortable lifestyle and put everything he had into the development of his company, which took a huge leap of faith and required an enormous sacrifice from his family.

Morrill stresses that his life has improved immeasurably since he switched gears from making the maximum amount of money possible to truly helping people. It's clear Morrill shares a passion with many (although not nearly enough) of those in our industry.

"The ultimate payback for me is when our clients write new business and we help them succeed. The passion to help others is at my core, and it's shared by my family and colleagues."

After a pause, he adds, "I hope that didn't sound too cheesy." Funny, coming from a guy from Wisconsin.
Morrill explains that many of the software packages on the market remain geared toward the back-end technology of the sales cycle. Dynamic Benefit Systems offers front-end software that can create the sales opportunity, close the sale, and save the broker a tremendous amount of time in the process.

With the days of paper and static analysis becoming the old way of doing business and real-time interactive analysis quickly becoming the norm, DBS is focused on the task at hand.

While DBS fully understands that many agencies might balk at the concept of taking a laptop and a projector out on an appointment with them, they firmly believe early adopters will have the competitive advantage.

Servant Insurance Services actually spawned Dynamic Benefit Systems. Servant's managing partners, Mark Priestaf and Wayne Weese, hold firm to a client-first mentality. Their philosophy remains a simple one, Priestaf admits, "A servant is one who puts the needs of others before self and is willing to go the extra mile to help others."

With 20 years of experience as a broker, Morrill became a spreadsheet guru, yet still struggled to differentiate himself and his firm from their competition. Providing value-added services such as COBRA administration, Web-based technology resources, wellness initiatives, HR services and cool PowerPoint presentations just weren't getting the job done.

"Employer clients facing double-digit rate increases became less and less impressed with my 'value-added' portfolio tote bag," Morrill says.

Wanting a software system that would essentially get to the core of what a good health insurance broker should be doing for their clients, Morrill and his team created cutting-edge technology that puts the client back in the driver's seat with the broker as their co-pilot. Together broker and client design the ultimate benefit plan, one that will provide the best value to their employees and one that will reduce plan costs to the employer's budget.

According to Morrill, Dynamic Benefit Systems allows users to:

  1. Create and make changes to a plan in real time, in front of your customers and prospects.
  2. Design a plan in minutes, instead of days or weeks, without the back and forth between carrier and customer.
  3. Position your agency as an invaluable asset to employers.
  4. Help employers and employees clearly understand CDHC plans, significantly increasing CDHC adoption rates.
  5. The best part, all of this is done in real time in a face-to-face meeting with your client or prospect. DBS offers interactive benefit plan design, simplifying the CDHC concept for employers. No more spreadsheets, generic forms and running back to the office to change the numbers and plan offerings to schedule yet another meeting with the client to review the new numbers.

"Until now, agents have relied on antiquated and inflexible spreadsheets to compare CDHC plans," Morrill explains. "With DBS the need for spreadsheets is eliminated, allowing critical variables to be easily analyzed, modified and proposed for your clients and prospects. Additionally, DBS software handles the complicated process of quoting age-rated plans."

It's important to keep in mind that DBS is not an insurance agency.

"DBS was created out of necessity," Priestaf insists. Servant Insurance is now a client of DBS and all of the agency data is completely confidential and isolated. Each agency client of DBS can even manage their own permissions - to restrict agent access within an agency down to certain employer groups. The data stored at DBS is likely more safe than your own laptop. DBS software uses 2,048-bit encryption on their high-availability, redundant, server cluster.

"When as associate of mine first sent me the link and video for this company, I was blown away by the proposed capabilities," one agent client explains. "I'd spent countless hours trying to find the right combination of all the variables of premium contributions, HSA and HRA designs and contributions, and deductible levels to help my clients and prospects so I was an easy sell for a product that promised to help me work smarter and faster.

This program can accomplish in a matter of minutes calculations that took me hours otherwise and allowed me the luxury of 'thinking outside the box' for my clients, without wasting a lot of time and energy.

"In today's marketplace, aside from providing excellent service, what more do we have than our abilities to create solutions for our clients while being forced to use the same old health insurance plans? DBS is a tool that gives me the ability to be creative, in an otherwise static industry."

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