While retirement plan advisers are first and foremost client service professionals, many of them are also owners of small and independent businesses, which require expert support from service providers.
Case and point is the provision of health care to advisory firm staffers and their families. To address the common challenges faced by independent advisers in securing affordable health insurance, the Financial Services Institute (FSI) is launching a new national suite of preferred provider organization (PPO) plans that will comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
FSI says its approach allows advisers to avoid the high premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums they would find by buying insurance directly or through ACA exchanges. The FSI’s leadership argues the organization is in a great position to offer its members a broader spectrum of health insurance solutions—and at more competitive price levels—than what is currently available.
“The beauty of the independent model lies in the freedom it gives advisers to open their own business and run them as they choose,” says Chris Paulitz, FSI’s head of strategic initiatives. “Yet health care premiums larger than their mortgages can constrain their ability to reach their full potential. Our health insurance plans level the playing field for financial advisers, and they no longer have to shoulder their burden alone.”
The solution is built on national PPO plans that are available in all 50 states, with features allowing covered members to go to “virtually any doctor,” FSI says. Plans are offered at three deductible levels of $2,500; $5,000; and $10,000. These are also the plans’ respective out-of-pocket maximums. Two of the plans are health savings account (HSA)-eligible and premiums are typically tax-deductible.
According to FSI’s announcement, financial advisers are eligible for the plans so long as they have a federal tax ID, maintain a current FSI membership and have an active CRD [central registration depository] number. They can learn more at FSI’s dedicated website: https://fsihealthcare.decisely.com/.
FSI notes this development builds on the January 2020 launch of the CoveredAdvisor2.0 program, which provides advisers with access to long-term disability, term life and AD&D [accidental death and dismemberment] insurance. It also offers a staff-bundled plan of long- and short-term disability and term life insurance.