Frank Ferrara | Brotherly Love Insurance
The Surprising Truth About Options About Health Insurance
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Brotherly Love Insurance is a full service broker that not only helps their clients find the best Health Insurance options for themselves and their employees, but we stay on as their customer service representative through the life of each plan so they never have to speak to someone they never met or are not comfortable speaking with. We specialize in Small businesses, 1099 contractors, individuals and families. We help those that typically have to handle the benefits for their company themselves.

I come from a family-owned, small business background, so when I made a career change I told myself - "that is who I am going to take care of." So now I am a health insurance broker who primarily helps "the little guy" - I am licensed in 33 states and am more than your typical broker. I don't shove square pegs into multi-shaped holes...I do the research needed to find the best options for my clients'; needs and budgets. I take my old-school customer service ideals and use them in an industry that is mostly void of such a thing.

In this episode

Many would-be entrepreneurs and business owners stop pursuing their dream because they can't afford to leave their corporate job and be without health insurance for themselves and their family. Frank Ferrara of Brotherly Love Insurance points out that the belief that a solopreneur or small business can't get health insurance is simply not true. In fact, these types of businesses often have more options for health insurance than offered by large corporate employers. The only catch, as Frank points out, is you have to do your research, which takes time and can be challenging if you don't have the expertise on where to look. Another nice benefit to the business owner for providing health insurance through their business is it is typically tax deductible. Frank provides the 3 basic steps you need to undertake to get the right health insurance coverage for your business.

A glimpse of what you'll hear

04:05 You don't have to be employed to get health insurance.

05:58 You often have more options for health insurance plans as a solopreneur or small business compared to what a large employer offers.

07:55 You have to do your research to understand your options.

10:12 Small businesses don't have to be at a disadvantage to large employers with respect to health insurance benefits.

12:52 Tax advantages when you offer health insurance through your business.

14:54 The wide range of health insurance options for your business.

18:35 Learn about Frank. Email Frank at frank@brotherlyloveinsurance.com or call or text him at +1.609.509.2236.

Episode Transcript

Centricity Introduction  0:04  
Welcome to the best kept secret videocast and podcast where I'm centricity. If you're a b2b service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a b2b services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co founder and CEO of centricity, Jay kingly.

 

Jay Kingley  0:43  

 

I'm Jay Kingley, co founder and CEO of Centricity. Welcome to our show, where our guests share their provocative perspective on what their target market is missing out on. I am happy to welcome Frank Ferrara, owner and broker of Brotherly Love insurance. Frank is a full service broker that helps his clients find the best health insurance options for themselves in their employees, and acts as the point person for all customer service needs. Frank is based in the city of brotherly love. That, of course, is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the show, Frank.

 

Frank Ferrara  1:21  

 

Thanks, Jay. Thanks for having me. Happy to be here.

 

Jay Kingley  1:24  

 

Frank. One of the things I think in our, in our society that bridges our personal life in our professional life, is drumroll please, health insurance. And I can remember when I was a little boy, and I don't want to date myself in 1960s, whenever my parents had to take me to the pediatrician, there was no insurance, you paid it out of your pocket. And I can remember my father telling me that he had bought from this organization called Blue Cross this major medical to cover true catastrophic health issues Otherwise, otherwise, it was just pay as you want. And then I remember we got to the 1970s and President Nixon, and he was the one who introduced this concept of HMOs. And I don't think he understood at the time, what he wrought in terms of how the health insurance world was going to change as a result. And now it's become ubiquitous, it's become something that we rely on to cover, at least in our minds, everything that we do, when it comes to our health care, but with the cost of great complexity, not to mention dollars. Now, in the last I don't know, I would say good 20 years, maybe 30 years, Frank, we have all learned that you get your health insurance from your employer. So it's really important in the household, you had at least one person work for the big company, so they could cover the health insurance needs for everybody else. Because we all know that if you didn't work for the big company, you couldn't get health insurance. Now, if you wanted to start a business, and out of the gate, or at least until your Cobra ran out, you could build up enough employees, and it was a bucket full, whatever that meant. Then you could go find a broker and they would help you get one of those nice corporate plans. But if you were going to be a solopreneur, if you were going to have maybe a business partner or two, but no real W2 employees, well, you're not going to be covered. And in today's world, you can't afford not to have health insurance. And I know Frank, so many people, even today, whose dream, whose professional aspiration is to start their own business. And they stop when they realize that they are not going to be able to get health insurance. So they trudge on in, you know, a job that they are not happy with, because this is such a critical issue. Now, I'm wondering, Frank, is that point of view correct? Is it true that if you don't work for the big company, you have no chance to get health insurance?

 

Frank Ferrara  4:29  

 

Absolutely not true. I mean, there's a lot of small businesses that I deal with every day, that they think they're too small to have any access to any kind of health options. And that's just the solopreneur but even small businesses, 5 10 15 employees, the magic number is usually 25. And sometimes depending on the industry 50 people before you can get that huge corporate plan. So anybody below that thinks they're stuck. And that's what stops them from taking a chance on themselves and going out on their own and being their own boss and doing everything you want to do and living the dream. And I want people that like, I take pride in helping people cross that bridge into that they've been in the corporate arena, basically their entire adult lives. So that's all they know, is is big corporate, big, you know, corporate plans, that's all they have. And they don't even understand the private market, or that there even is a private market in some instances. And what I find for the people I've dealt with his lack of knowledge is what causes fear. And that's pretty much where we're at today with a lot of people that when I speak to them, after I'm done speaking with them, they're like, Wow, okay, I didn't realize there was this whole other, you know, World of options of health insurance for one person, two people, three people working, you know, etc. Like you explained, you know, there is many options out there for that, that niche of people.

 

Jay Kingley  5:43  

 

So, Frank, but before we move on to what the answer might look like, I want to ask you another question. Because I think there is this parallel idea that I worked for the big company. And somehow they're going to have 5000 different health plans, so that I can get thanks to big employer, that perfect health plan for me. And so it's this contrast of richness and abundance? With nothing, now, now you've, you've hinted out? Well, it's not nothing. But But let me just ask you. Is it true that when I'm in that big corporate world, I have this abundance of options? And worst case, you know, maybe there's one thing for me if I tried to go out on my own, but I'm giving up all that choice and optionality, I get with a big employer, what say you to that firm?

 

Frank Ferrara  6:41  

 

Oh, I mean, to actually if you want to take that and reverse it, and that's the truth is that, the exact opposite of that, because people don't realize when you work for a big company, a you have no choice in your health coverage at all, the owner, or the HR department, whoever is in charge of it is picking the options for you to pick and if people that notice, in that position, they only have one, two, maybe three, if you're lucky options, and most of them are cookie cutter, one size fits all kind of options. And that's it, they might be comprehensive, really big plans or what have you. But there's no options out there, to where on your own by yourself. There's up towards the like 15 possible options and directions, you can go, and you're in charge of it. Now, you can pick what best suits your needs, what best suits your budget, but you know, if you if we want catastrophic, more, if you want more of the doctor visits, if you want that you can basically create your own plan for yourself for your own needs. And it's not cookie cutter, one size fits all, it's yours. Now you own it. And it's your plan. And there's so many options. It's it's, like I said, this is the exact opposite of what most people think is what the truth is, you have more options to yourself,

 

Jay Kingley  7:50  

 

You're blowing everybody's mind right about now, you're telling people, it's almost the total opposite of what we all have been led to believe, over the last couple of decades. So let's move on and talk about what I say is the hope. So you want to be an entrepreneur, you want to start your own business, how should you be thinking about securing the health insurance?

 

Frank Ferrara  8:16  

 

It's all in the research. I mean, it's basically I mean, the the information is out there, you just have to look for it, you know, and every plan that's available in the marketplace today, it has its own advantages. It has its own drawbacks. No plan is the same and no plan covers everything and 100% they don't exist. There's there's always going to be out of pocket and costly. And you have to know what your what your needs are and what your budget is and what you're able to afford, if something God forbid really big happens to you. And they have to find what plan works best for their needs. And it's it's a cross between upfront costs, or your monthly premiums versus your back end costs, which would be your co pays your coinsurance, your deductible, your max out of pocket and all these things that would cost on the back end if something did happen to you. And all this analysis needs to be done. In order to find the best option for each person. I'm not saying it's easy, because there's a lot of research out there. It's what I do for a living. So it's not easy, I do it every day. But it's necessary in order to choose the right plan. And then they have other factors like network size, like we go back to the HMOs. There's also POS which is point of sale plans, there's e POS, which is a smaller network, if you travel, there's PPO. So your network is a lot larger, you can go more places depends on where you are in your life where you're traveling and whatnot and your coverage needs. And then you're looking at your doctors to make sure they fit in that system with you because you don't want to have to change all these doctors if you change something around. But it's all available to you if you know where to look. And then finally you have the actual application process in itself of actually just like signing up for it and making sure everything is in place and and properly set up for you to actually have that coverage go into effect when you need it to.

 

Jay Kingley  9:55  

 

So Frank we now I think appreciate that helpful. insurance should never stop you from what it is that you want to achieve professionally. So let's talk about how to think through the benefits of that. Now, let's say I'm starting my own business and might be me might be a partner, maybe it's a handful of employees, but not at that 25 30 50 level, we're less than that. So based on what you're seeing, talk to me about how my business can benefit can stay competitive with other perhaps larger companies out there on the health insurance dimension?

 

Frank Ferrara  10:33  

 

Just have a lot of people don't realize they have this opportunity to offer coverage, even on the small business level, that you put yourself above everybody else at your level, if you're offering benefits to employees, because you know, you have these, these employees say I work for a small business, I don't have health insurance. I mean, I talked to somebody today who works for a restaurant, and they're not offering coverage. So I want to talk to their boss now. Because if you are a smaller business, I call them the mom and pops mainstream America business, and you're not offering health insurance and you're looking for employees, but somebody on the scene, you know, level as you size wise and industry wise, they are offering benefits their employees, you as the person looking for the job, where do you think you're gonna veer towards to interview first to say, you know, hey, I want to check them out, because it looks like they're taking care of their employees better than, you know, option B. So being able to offer benefits, even on the small level, even on the two three person level puts you at a level higher than other people in your same you know, sphere of business.

 

Jay Kingley  11:35  

 

When you've worked with small businesses that have seen the light and realize that they're not a disadvantage. Talk to me about the emotional reaction that you have seen and experienced with those business owners.

 

Frank Ferrara 11:51  

 

I'll give you a specific example to where I was able to help somebody with an auto mechanic shop. And he was losing his turnover rate was insane. He was losing people losing people like because they will just come and go because it was just basically a nine to five to the people are coming through there. I spent an evening with him and sat down with him and went over all the options with him. And when I showed him what the options were, what he could choose and the price he hugged me. Because like, literally, there wasn't even a pat bag hug either like he like gripped and hugged us, Oh my Oh, my Lord, you're saving me here this is I didn't realize I could do this for this price, I thought was gonna be like at least 20 30 More $1,000 a year to do something like this. And it's doable, they can do it. So it takes so much stress off of the owner, not only like and like you said in the beginning, not only for the implementation of the health coverage, to have somebody on point through the life of the plan to have somebody to talk to to call. And that's what I stressed, that's what I do for my clients, I'm there for them all the time to have that taken away that they don't have to worry about that anymore, that they have somebody that takes care of it for them. Now they feel like a big company, because they have that that person in that position to take care of all their needs for the benefits of their employees. So it's a huge time saver and stress saver, I think for people that I'm able to help.

 

Jay Kingley  13:07  

 

If you know the answer to this. Are there any tax advantages, like the ability to deduct the premiums that business are paying that gives that

tangible benefit to a business owner?

 

Frank Ferrara 13:21  

 

I mean, yeah, it's everything you spend on your employees and your workforce is tax deductible. So that I mean, that's, that's it's a business expense. So yeah, there's there's advantages to that 100%, definitely. And there's different programs, you can take advantage like like que sera, or HRAs or HSAs health savings accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts that you can help implement into your system to where it just becomes part of the payroll system. And it's it's a lot easier and a more advantage, you know, a lot more advantage to be able to do something like that for a business.

Jay Kingley  13:51  

I've always looked at it when you can buy something using pre tax dollars, not after tax dollars. It's like you're buying wholesale.

 

Frank Ferrara 13:59  

 

You're buying wholesale, right, exactly, exactly. 

 

Jay Kingley  14:01  

 

And the government is giving you actually a pretty massive subsidy on your tax bill, in order to do this. So you can take whatever you want to spend, and then realize thanks to the 10 tax savings. Either you can up your generosity or just do what you feel you need to do and realize it's going to cost you a significantly less amount. I think you've made a pretty compelling case for people so that they understand they can move ahead professionally, they can start their own business, they can be their own boss without having to get stopped in their tracks by this misperception that they won't be able to get health insurance. In fact, Frank, what I think you're telling us is you probably want a lot more options on your own or as a small business than you do working for that big employer. So okay, great, Frank. Thought you sold me on this. So now I want to implement it. So what are the steps that I need to take those tactical steps to make this a reality for my business?

 

Frank Ferrara 15:12  

 

The next steps basically, if if you're if you're looking to do this, as you know, the like I said, the first step is research, you know, know what size business you have. When you start looking at the different options that you have for the small business, there's different options, you can go private carrier, you can go direct to like BlueCross, BlueShield. Obviously, the one everybody's heard of is the marketplace, you can go through the marketplace and see if there's anything like that. But group options, you, you have Association based plans, like a Chamber of Commerce has usually have something like where you can hook into them and use the earth or group shot. Plans, sorry. There's private plans, there's health share plans, there's so many different options out there. So you basically just the first step is the research. And then once you have an idea what you want to do, then you just have to start pricing it out. This is how many employees I have this is my base age, you have to have a census of the people who are interested, because the good thing about being a small business, just like a big business is there's not as many rules that you have to follow, being a bigger business 25 50 plus, you can offer it to every single one of our employees. And you have to offer the same thing to each employee, but they don't have to take it. So there's options of them not taking it so but you have to make sure you know how many people are in in there, what your price is going to be. And then you just at that point, your contact, whoever you're going through the carrier or whatnot, and say, Alright, this is what I'm looking to do. can I how can I implement my health insurance for my company at that point in time, so little steps, but it's, you know, it takes time, like I said, it's not easy, but it's it's something that's doable,

 

Jay Kingley  16:47  

 

Gain is worth the pain, I think. So for all of you out there that are listening, that are aspiring entrepreneurs, or existing small businesses that didn't realize that you could offer this move forward, live up to what it is that your heart and your dreams are going to take you. And don't worry about the lack of availability of health insurance. Now you got to do the work to figure it all out. But it is there, there are far more options. Frank, as I think you just indicated, beyond the ones that even those who might think they're in the know, realize that you have a lot of variety, a lot of choice a lot options. So we are going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we're going to learn a bit more about Frank.

 

Centricity Introduction  17:37  

 

Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client. Would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have to pitch follow up and spam decision makers. While centricity is that tipping point program uses a proven five step process that will help you get in front of the decision makers you need by spending less time on doing all of the things you hate. It's not cold calling cold email, cold outreach on LinkedIn or any other social media platform, or spending money on ads. But it has a 35 times higher ROI than any of those things, leveraging your expertise and insights that your prospects and network value. The best part even though you'll see results in 90 days, you get to work with the Centricity team for an entire year to make sure you have all the pieces in place and working. So you can start having freedom of time and a life outside of your business. So email time at Centricity b2b dot com to schedule an 18 minute call to learn more.

 

Jay Kingley  18:36  

 

Welcome back, we're talking to Frank Ferrara of Brotherly Love insurance. And I'd like to find out a little bit more about you, Frank. So let's start with when I look at you and your insurance agency, what are the pain points you solve for your clients? And why do they need you to get rid of that pain?

 

Frank Ferrara  18:56  

 

So, I mean, basically, everything I explained up to this point is research, research, research research. And you know, you're starting to try and start your own small business, you have so much more time to deal with other things. So what I do is I take all that off your off my clients hands, I take it off their hands, I do it for them, I take the time, and I spend all the time looking for an implementing and maintaining the health insurance. And I give that time back to my clients and I do all the work for them. They're usually you know, those small businesses, self employed people, 1099 contractors, like nurses and, you know, construction industry like that. They typically have to do all this work by themselves. So what I do is I do it for them, and I put all the time back in their pocket to spend in their business. So that's how I help my clients. And their biggest pain point is not only that, I think it's difficult to do, they don't have the time to do it. So having me solves two problems.

 

Jay Kingley  19:48  

 

People don't hire someone because of what they do. They hire them because they're really great at what we do, no one's out there looking for mediocre. So Frank, what makes you and Brother Love insurance, great at what you do.

I guess the best way to explain this is I feel What sets me apart from most people in my industry is I'm completely 100% full service. Every single one of my clients that I've started with since 2016, when I started this business, every single one of them has my personal cell phone number, they never have to call somebody some 800 number and talk to somebody they've never met before. They're comfortable with me, they met me, every problem goes through me, I take care of everything for them, and they go back to work, that's the first thing I do to help people. So they never have to figure it out on their own. I mean, most brokers typically, you know, you hear about them, you hear from them once every 12 months, they sell your plan, they disappear. I don't vanish after the sale the policy, you know, and I also give my clients when looking for their plan for them. I don't just say here's your plan. I say here's option 1234567. Let's go through all of them together, let's learn them together to make sure these are the best options for you. And you make the right choice for yourself. So I basically do everything for my clients. And they just have to sit back and say, Cool, that was really cool. All right, I got somebody just took care of everything. For me. That was awesome. So let's put, you know, health insurance back in the positive light instead of people being scared of it and being afraid of it. 

I encourage everybody to go to your LinkedIn profile. You know, you and I have known each other for a while. So I know a little bit more about your backstory. But it's a great profile people can really see and get a sense for the journey that you've gone on professionally, which will give a little insight as to why you look at your business the way you do. Having said that I'm actually interested in something a little bit different. What I would like to understand is what happened in your life. That would explain why you're doing what you're doing.

 

Frank Ferrara 21:50  

 

Rewind, I'm a third I was a third generation blue collar auto repair, auto repair mechanic. My grandfather had a shop second in Oregon and Philadelphia was a Texaco, arco and Texaco gas station, my father had a snow cone with 10th, Washington and Philadelphia, I was small business mom and pop all the way from birth up until I made my career change. So I lived in that space my entire life. So I didn't understand the corporate style. So I moved into a little bit bigger of a shop. And then I became the manager of that shop. And then I bought the shop and I was an owner of the shop. So I thought I was doing what I wanted to do. I brought my wife on to do our books for me to help me out. And one day she walked up to me, and she says, Do you have an idea how much our insurance costs? I said, we have it, I don't know. I'm busy fixing cars, you go handle that stuff. So she says, Well, our health insurance just for our family, just this year went to $2,500 a month, just for the premiums. And I was like, whoa, what? So I started I did a big drawback. I was like, there's gotta be something else out there than $2,500 a month for at the time three of us dollars for but at the time was three of us. So I started doing my own research, I did what I told people they have to do, I said, You know what, there's got to be something different out there. And I did all this research. And I found something from my family that was very comparable to what we had, it was $1,200 a month for three of us. So I knocked by premium almost in half. So I was like, wow, that was pretty cool. That's so I started telling my mechanic friends that owned other shops like yours, you heard about this one here. Let's look, let's look at this, see if I can help you out. So I started helping them. And then one of them walked up to me one day and says Yo, you should do this for a living, you're actually pretty good at this. Because I saved him like caught his premiums in half. And he was happy with what he had. So I was like, hey, whatever. And I was like, you know, maybe I shouldn't. So I looked back at it. And you know, fast forward six years, here I am I sold my shop, I'm not doing that anymore. And I'm staying with that premise of you know, yeah, I'm here to help. I'm not here to sell anything. I'm it's out there that the product is the product. So I just want to help people. And here I am today. I'm just helping people and I still want to treat them like I would like I would treat myself which each person that I do. And I want to actually help each person find their best option. So yeah, it came out of personal need is where it came from is the short story.

 

Jay Kingley  24:02  

 

Well, I love it, how the story all hangs together. And how you got into to this because of real need. And then your mindset and how you look at it sort of all comes back around again. So very powerful, very compelling. Frank, I think you have given our audience a new way, a very different way to be thinking about health insurance, even to the point where and this is just my point of view, not just for the small guys, I don't think that the mid size or even the larger ones, or companies are being that well served either because the process doesn't change, about research and digging deep and looking for and considering all of your options. So Frank, I'm sure we're gonna have a lot of people that want to continue the discussion with you. What is the best way for them to get in touch with you?

 

Frank Ferrara  24:59  

 

Oh, um, first thing you can check out our website, which is www.brotherlyloveinsurance.com a lot of information, their contact is there as well. My email address is Frank@brotherlyloveinsurance.com Or you can call my cell phone. Like I said, I give it out to everybody because I don't have an office. My cell phone number is 609-509-2236 You'll get me directly,

 

Jay Kingley  25:22  

 

Okay, and we were going to we're going to put all of that information into our show notes and insert into the video, make it easy for you to reach out and contact Frank. Frank, I want to thank you for opening up our eyes. And I might come up with a new nickname for you. I'm going to call you the dream enabler. Because you have taken this massive obstacle that I constantly hear people reference. And you just said, poof, it's gone. There you go. Move forward with your life's work that goes so far above and beyond the mechanics of what you do. So I applaud you. I thank you for that. So to our audience, let's reach out to Frank. In the meantime, let's continue to crush it out there. Until next time.