For many, the end of the year is a time to slow down, relax and reflect on the year behind us while setting resolutions for the year ahead. At Allied National, our employees are busy paying claims, providing agent support, closing new business and booking renewals. But we still have time to look back at what we accomplished in 2021 and share with our readers what’s ahead for Allied National in 2022. And be sure to take our quick survey at the end for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!
We turned 51.
On Sept. 17, 2021, we finally had the opportunity to come together and celebrate our 50th Anniversary at the Kansas City Zoo. Due to the pandemic in 2020, we had to reschedule our celebration, hence the “+1” we added to our anniversary logo. With more than 200 employees and guests in attendance, there was not a dull moment to be had. Guests enjoyed the polar bear and penguin exhibits, a private sea lion show, a train ride around part of the zoo, carousel rides and a photobooth. Allied’s CEO Bill Ashley said a few words during dinner, paying tribute to his parents who started the company as a brokerage in 1951. He also recognized employees who have been with Allied National for up to 40 years. Sheila Herringdon, President at 90 Degree Benefits, expressed her gratitude for being part of the special event, and Michael Patterson, Chief Administrative Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield Alabama, was in attendance with his wife Barvette, and gave a short motivational speech about taking care of each other so we can better take care of our employers and members. Check out at all photos from the event on our Facebook page.
We celebrated a centennial birthday.
Allied’s co-founder Willis “Bill” Ashley (front left) celebrated his centennial birthday in March 2021, and two of his four sons (Mike, middle back and Gary, front right) were able to join in the festivities. Bill and his wife Ernestine, who are enjoying retirement in Arizona, started Allied National as one of the nation’s first multiple employer trusts for small group health insurance.
We introduced the Elite Experience Team.
Our Freedom Plan members have the support of Allied’s Elite Experience Team to help them navigate their reference-based pricing health plan. Members are free to see any provider without PPO plan restrictions or penalties. If a new provider doesn’t recognize the non-PPO Freedom health plan, the Elite Experience Team will work with the provider to explain the benefits and all aspects of the plan. Members also can contact the Elite Experience Team if they receive a balance bill from a provider. The team will work with providers to make sure our members only pay their normal copays, deductibles and coinsurance.
We launched the Cost Saver Bronze Minimum Value Plan.
Allied National now has its own Bronze Minimum Value Plan (MVP) option inside of our popular Cost Saver plans. For large employers, Cost Saver plans are Minimum Essential Coverage and help employers avoid Employer Shared Responsibility Part “A” penalties. Many employers also want to provide a low-cost option to meet Minimum Value and avoid both penalties, “A” and “B”. The new Cost Saver Bronze MVP option covers both the “A” and B” penalties. Check out the chart on page 5 of our Cost Saver brochure under the Plan 3 column to learn more.
We created new video content for agents and employers.
In 2021, Allied’s marketing and communications team increased our video content by producing testimonials, quick educational tips for agents and employers and videos about our group health plans. Take a look at some of our more popular videos here or visit our YouTube channel to see all of them.
We lowered rates.
In the third quarter, we lowered rates by 10% in all states where Funding Advantage plans are available for new business. What’s even more exciting for small group employers is that they can receive an additional 6.5% discount on their monthly premium when they choose to include the HealthChoices option with their Funding Advantage Plan – adding up to an overall 16.5% reduction on the rates.
We attended conferences and events.
The Allied sales team returned to the exposition halls of booths in multiple NAHU events in our local area, as well as in Texas and Eastern Missouri and participated in a booth at the Benefits Pro conference in San Diego, Calif., over the summer. Executive Director of Sales and Marketing Brandon Scarborough was a break-out session speaker at one of these events presenting on the power of finding your niche.
When the sales team wasn’t hosting a booth at an event, they were on the road visiting General Agents and they look forward to visiting more agents and attending more events in 2022.
We gave back to local charities.
Giving back is at the heart of Allied, and our employees keep giving back more and more each year. We're very proud of our employees and the generosity they show every holiday season toward local nonprofits.
We took up more office space.
This past year we were bursting at the seams and needed more space to accommodate our company's growth. So, our Sales and Marketing departments moved into a newly renovated space inside our Overland Park office in May 2021.
We are ready for a new year.
So, what’s new for 2022? First, we’re excited to launch a new simplified underwriting process for 20+ groups in the first quarter. This will allow agents to provide a firm rate more quickly by submitting only a census.
Secondly, reference-based pricing (RBP) will continue to lead the way when it comes to group health plans. Employers and agents will be seeing some new Allied plan options coming out in the first half of the year.
As for industry news, the No Surprises Act, which bans most unexpected medical charges from out-of-network providers, is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2022. It will apply to about 10 million surprise bills a year, according to federal estimates. The new law protects patients when they receive emergency care or scheduled treatment from doctors and hospitals that are not in their insurance networks and that they did not choose. Covered members would be responsible only for their normal copays, deductibles and coinsurance. Allied’s Funding Advantage Freedom Plans already feature protection from surprise bills.
We want to give away Amazon gift cards.
Tell us what you’d like to read about on The Allied Blog in 2022 by filling out our quick survey and you will be entered to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Take the survey now.
On behalf of all of us at Allied National, we wish you a happy and prosperous new year!
Founded in 1970, Allied is one of the nation's oldest and most experienced third-party administrators. As the small group benefit experts, Allied works with small business employers to provide unique and affordable group health benefits.
Welcome to the Allied Blog
Allied National is a 90 Degree Benefits Company, a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. Founded in 1970, Allied National is one of the nation's oldest and most experienced third-party administrators. We're the small group benefit experts working to provide unique and affordable group health benefits to small business employers.