Episode 5: Employee Retention 2.0 with Nancy Towle

Podcast Guests

photo of Leighann Lovely

Leighann Lovely

SITE Staffing, Inc.

photo of Nancy Towle

Nancy Towle


Leighann Lovely 0:09
Welcome to HRables: HR In Bite-Sized Pieces presented by SITE Staffing. I’m your host, Leghann Lovely and today we will be talking about what employers can do to increase employee retention. This is employee retention 2.0. Employee retention is a problem, you get an employee you train an employee, and then they leave. Not all companies can offer rich benefits or programs. But there are things that companies can offer. So today as a part of the employee retention series, I am joined by Nancy Towle with HealthMarkets Insurance. Nancy Towle is a licensed agent with HealthMarkets Insurance. Insurance was a late career in your life or career change in life for Nancy. But Nancy loves helping people protect themselves from catastrophic expense associated with health insurance. As a broker, Nancy is appointed with over 30 different health insurance providers. She is proud of her portfolio of products, and is able to find the plan or product that works best for each person. Nancy offers health coverage, head to toe for individuals and small businesses but her special love is helping people understand and get signed up for Medicare along with RX plans, supplemental or Advantage plans. So welcome, Nancy. I’m really excited to have you here.

Nancy Towle 1:34
Thank you, Leighann. I’m so excited to do this too, this is so fun.

Leighann Lovely 1:39
So tell me how did you end up in the healthcare, you know, industry and doing what you do?

Nancy Towle 1:46
Well, we need an hour for that story. So I’ll just tell you that many times through my life, people said, Oh, you should try selling health insurance and I pretty much said not over my dead body, and a big change in my life came along, I was presented with the opportunity and it was the perfect time and the perfect opportunity and I love what I do, and I’m going to do this to 70 years old.

Leighann Lovely 2:14
Excellent. It’s difficult to find a career that you have passion for and love for. So when you find it, you definitely have to stick with it. So who should call you and you know when?

Nancy Towle 2:27
Well, as you mentioned in the introduction, I work with everyone. If you have employer benefits, you may not need me, but I still have things that can protect you from catastrophe. So my little tagline is I work with individuals, small businesses, and those getting close to Medicare or already in Medicare. So there’s a lot of people that can use my help.

Leighann Lovely 2:55
Yeah, absolutely. So there are so many products obviously to offer out there. What I would really like to focus on today is how you can assist a company that may not be able to directly offer assistance to their employees, or healthcare benefits to their employees. So do you often work with companies that are in that boat and you know, how do you go in and navigate working with those companies?

Nancy Towle 3:24
It’s very individualized. So a company may come to me and say I want a group plan. And once I ask a few questions about the makeup of the employees and their income, that will tell me whether or not you’re better off having your employees go directly to the marketplace. Or if you’re higher income level employees, then it makes sense to get quotes for group plans. Group plans are not what they used to be. The whole Obamacare law changed group plans into very expensive programs with very high deductibles and very high co-pays. So everyone, every business, every individual is very specific, and I will guide you through which way to go. Once you once we figure out what works best for you, then we determine what you would like your employees to have an opportunity to either purchase for themselves or you purchase for them. For example, I have an accident plan and that accident plan pays you cash if you go to the emergency room or urgent care. It’s very affordable and a lot of employers will use that as a benefit for their employees. I have dental, I have vision but some people might not care about those things. So there’s other things, life insurance. There’s just so much customization and I highly recommend you don’t do it by yourself.

Leighann Lovely 5:11
No, it’s navigating through all of the different things that you know are available out there, it makes it very well, it’s, it’s just confusing even to begin to look at any of that. So you said that you’re working with those companies, it’s all customizable. Are there specific or size companies that you typically work with, or, I mean, is it pretty much open to any size company that you’re able to walk into,

Nancy Towle 5:43
I am considered small business, which is under 50 employees, I often work with the five to 10 to 15, employee companies and again, it’s all customized. A lot of times, you want to see what your ages of your employees are, you may have someone working for you who is eligible for Medicare and they could be saving you a ton of money and saving themselves a ton of money by going to Medicare, but you won’t know unless you have someone like me who can help you compare.

Leighann Lovely 6:24
Interesting. Okay. So what is the greatest challenge right now that people face when it comes to benefits and their coverage?

Nancy Towle 6:37
It is such a challenge, because the whole market for insurance is changing by the moment. The American Rescue Plan just rolled out in the last few weeks and every single person who is on a marketplace plan is going to be getting a better price, which means they have to come to someone like myself, or to the marketplace and re-do their application to get their lower cost. There’s a big advertising campaign that’s coming out and people are confused. I’ve had people send me emails and say, is this a scam, because they got an email from the marketplace. It’s not a scam, everything’s changing. and you need to work with someone who’s keeping up with all that. You wouldn’t believe the pages and pages of things that are coming through on this American Rescue Act.

Leighann Lovely 7:37
So it’s for anybody who’s currently on the marketplace?

Nancy Towle 7:42

Leighann Lovely 7:43
And new pricing is going to be coming out associated with the American rescue plan?

Nancy Towle 7:49
It came out April 1st.

Leighann Lovely 7:50

Nancy Towle 7:51
And so now everyone who’s on a plan needs to re-do their application and it’ll give you a new subsidy number. So very important is if you have been told in the past that you were not eligible for a subsidy and you had to pay full price. Maybe you went elsewhere for a program. Now you can come back to the marketplace, get re-quoated and find out if you can get an affordable plan or get a better plan than what you already have. So there’s there’s lots of things happening. There’s changes with Cobra for the better. I have people call me and say I need to get off Cobra because it’s so expensive. Cobra is going to be paid for by the federal government April through September. So don’t be canceling your Cobra unless you talk to somebody first. There’s going to be changes with unemployment. If you were on unemployment for one year, during 2021, you may be able to get your health insurance at no cost. Unbelievable.

Leighann Lovely 9:03
Wow. So, that is definitely a lot of, a lot of things that I have not, well I haven’t heard of I’m not in your industry. So yeah, it’s definitely worthwhile making a phone call to you no matter you know, what insurance you have currently, if you are at all in the marketplace and need some advice and need to navigate all of the different changes that are happening. So how would someone get in touch with you if they if they needed to, you know, talk to you about either changing their benefits or getting benefits or whatever that reason might be.

Nancy Towle 9:40
Just to investigate. I do a lot of advising people and there is no cost for my services. If you do decide to sign up for a plan I may or may not be compensated by the company, but I love helping people. So, I give a lot of advice. I have a office phone number which is 414-585-9655, and that’s actually an answering machine. So you can leave a message and I will call you back at my earliest convenience.

Leighann Lovely 10:15
That’s excellent. So just to recap, I mean, it sounds like you offer not only great advice to companies on how they are able to possibly get benefits, you know, to their employees, whether that be an individual case or individual basis, but also, you’re able to offer group plans to those companies, especially if they’re a smaller, or, you know, mid-size under 50s, is what I understand correct? But you work with a lot of individuals.

Nancy Towle 10:51
Yes. And one more thing, if I may, a lot of times a small business will be made up of one person and if that small business has a spouse who participates in the business, there is a way of setting it up to become a business account through the Marketplace, which would cover your entire family with health insurance, and give you tax benefits.

Leighann Lovely 11:19

Nancy Towle 11:20
So I have outside people that I refer to for that.

Leighann Lovely 11:23
Great, well, this has been an amazing, very informational in even just a short period of time. So I can’t imagine how much you could assist somebody if they were able to spend, you know, a half an hour or an hour with you and be able to go through, you know, all of what they need and what their needs are and everything else. So I really appreciate your time today. You know, so definitely give Nancy a call if you are looking for insurance, looking for information, or just need to you know, find out. You know what your next step will be. So again, Nancy, I thank you.

Nancy Towle 12:00
Thank you. I’m very passionate about this stuff.

Leighann Lovely 12:03
I can tell. Definitely tell. Well, my fellow Wisconsinites this is Leighann Lovely with HRables. It’s been a wonderful conversation with Nancy and I thank you for listening. You have a wonderful day. Thank you for tuning in. If you have a comment or you’d like to just join the conversation, please reach out to us on LinkedIn. If you are a company and you would like assistance with your open positions, I’d love to hear from you, or if you are looking for a new position you can apply at our website at www.sitestaffinginc.com and finally, if you enjoyed our podcast today, share us, like us or leave a comment. Please tune in next time. I’m Leighann Lovely with SITE Staffing, and this is HRables: HR In Bite-Sized pieces. We are now available on Apple podcast, Google podcast, iHeart Radio, player FM or wherever you get your podcasts!