John Hancock Introduces New VUL

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For life insurance clients looking for strong, guaranteed protection with equity-based growth potential, show them how the new Protection VUL can give them the confidence to “stay the course” with their financial plan by offering a competitive guarantee to age 100 — and so much more.

Upcoming webinar

And don’t miss our webinar on March 10 at 1 p.m. ET with product experts Justin Kemp, protection product manager, and Jonathan Mathews, director, Product Intelligence, where you can learn more about the new Protection VUL — and how to grow your sales. Register today.
Introducing tools to elevate our licensing and compensation services
We’re excited to introduce the first phase of some digital licensing and compensation enhancements that will make it easier and more efficient to do business with John Hancock. Take a look at what’s available:
  1. Online compensation statements — available via our producer website,, you can now view your compensation statements for the last nine months, with expansion to a two-year historical view coming soon. Please note: you will have access only to compensation statements for business that is paid directly to you by John Hancock.
  2. Access to Producer Terms and Conditions — now available to firms and producers via our enhanced licensing and compensation forms page on You will also find several other licensing and compensation maintenance and onboarding forms on this page, and most include e-signature and e-submit capabilities.

Visit the My Business page on to check out these new features. This implementation is the first in a series of additional improvements coming over the next several weeks (up next: enhancements to the appointment status tool). Watch for more exciting news coming soon!

How does the new Protection VUL enhance your “Protection” product portfolio?

Use these talking points to gain a deeper understanding of where our new Protection VUL stands out and how it fits into our overall protection portfolio.

Indexed account changes

Per Executive Order 13959, and effective immediately, John Hancock is no longer able to purchase derivatives from the Hong Kong-based Hang Seng ® Index, and therefore no longer offering the Capped Hang Seng Indexed Account. Customers who have money allocated to this account will be able to move their funds to our other indexed account options when their segments mature. If we do not receive a new allocation form, maturing Hang Seng segments will be allocated to the Fixed Account. We will be contacting customers to inform them of this change and to explain what it means and what options they have. None of our other accounts, which are based on the S&P 500 ® Index, are impacted by the executive order.

John Hancock Vitality

It’s been five years since we introduced John Hancock Vitality, and the program’s impact on our customers’ healthy actions — and our producers’ sales — continues to grow. See the highlights of why Vitality continues to be such a game changer.

Doing business with us

Exciting enhancements to eDelivery of inforce policy documents

As a result of our ongoing efforts to move your clients’ inforce life insurance policies to new and more robust administration platforms, we are excited to bring you some enhanced eDelivery capabilities:

  • Greater efficiency. You will receive enhanced email notifications when new documents associated with your clients’ inforce policies become available for viewing.
  • Easier navigation. A new “documents” tab within policy details provides an improved and streamlined experience to downloading your files.
  • More documents. Access to additional inforce policy documents on, including beneficiary change confirmations and inforce documents for additional products (namely, Manulife term products).
  • Improved customer experience. Your customers will experience similar improvements, including access to more documents and easier navigation.

To view your clients’ policy documents, access inforce policy details (via the “My Business” page) on and enter the client’s policy number. Please note: we will be converting all policies to our new administration platform on a rolling basis, so for a short period of time you may receive some email notifications using the current template, while others will be in the new, enhanced template. We expect to convert all policies to the enhanced experience in the near future.

For more information about eDelivery of inforce policy documents, refer to our updated frequently asked questions.

Emotional intelligence in a virtual world

We will be providing you with some tips and tools over the next few months as part of LIMRA’s “Help Protect our Families” campaign that’s designed to promote the importance of having adequate life insurance protection and closing the life insurance coverage gap in the United States. Please see the NAILBA article, Emotional intelligence in a virtual world, which discusses how important it is to build and maintain trust with your clients when all your interactions are virtual.


Unlocking business planning opportunities in 2021

Our newest podcast focuses on potential legislative changes that could affect small business owners, highlighting how they can set up plans today to navigate current and future needs. We’re joined by Caroline Brooks, head of Advanced Markets and AVP and counsel for John Hancock Insurance, who will share insights on:
  • Protecting against the loss of a key person
  • How proposals may impact C corporations
  • Using life insurance as an executive-retention strategy
  • Where to find marketing tools and materials to help deepen your understanding of planning concepts and help grow your business

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BCBS MN: Group Round Up for 2021

Congratulations, we did it– we made it through 2020, and we are already well on our way to 2nd quarter of 2021.

Looking ahead in 2021, there are many exciting opportunities to diversify your portfolio with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota in the Small Group Market, such as:

  • Voluntary Dental and Vision plans
  • Association Health Plans (AHP): Housing First Minnesota (HFM) and Associated Builders & Contractors – Minnesota (ABC)
  • New Level Funding product available for 10/1/2021.  Look for product information and training mid Spring early Summer 2021

What continues to remain the same for BCBS Small Group in 2021:

    • BCBS renewals continue to stay stable year over year with a low annual rate increase.  It makes if very easy for groups to “renew as is”
    • Blue Card PPO Network.  As more employers expand their workforce across state lines and work remotely, they can continue to offer the same benefits to their employees!
    • Network Choice!  Pick a plan then pick a network.
    • Multiple health plans still available
      • 2-9 enrolled employees can offer up to 2 plans!
      • 10 or more enrolled employees can offer up to 4 plans!

*Don’t forget  the employer is responsible for 50% of the employee-only premium on the lowest cost plan that is offered to the group

What is NEW for 2021?

    • 5 free virtual visits on ALL medical plans including H.S.A compatible plans
    • High Value Network now includes Allina & Children’s
    • Regional Strategies!
      • Duluth area: Lead with AWARE network to get access to full network while being very competitively priced
      • Area 8 (Twin Cities Metro):  Network Pairing to maximize choice and savings  ex:  Aware and High Value paired together!
      • Region 4 (SW MN): BCBSMN is leading pricing position! 

Don’t forget about BCBS Voluntary Benefits;

  • Dental and Vision available
  • Choice of plans to fit your needs–
  • No employer contribution required!
  • Low participation requirements to qualify!   Dental: 20%  Vision:  2 employees to elect Coverage
  • Can be purchased as Stand Alone!

Whether you have questions on retention, growth, or training on products or tools, LeClair Group is here to assist you with any questions you have. Reach out today to set up a conference call or virtual training with your LeClair Group Relationship Manager Katie Miller or Nick Forside. Otherwise, be on the lookout for invites for upcoming webinars. We look forward to hearing from you.


Ameritas DI Upcoming Dental Market Changes

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Underwriting and Product changes on the Ameritas DInamic Foundation Policies for General Dentists (4M), Effective March 22nd.

  • Max Issue Limits (base + FIO) on IDI coverages will be $10,000. Business Overhead Expense will remain unchanged.
    • Note: the change is to Issue Limit only, Participation Limit will remain the same ($15,000 with other IDI and $30,000 with Group LTD).

Discounts will no longer be available on newly written IDI or BOE policies. This applies to:

  • Fully Underwritten Multi-life
  • Association Marketing
  • Medical and Dental Intern, Resident and Fellow
  • Double Annual Discount

For Existing Policies:

  • Policies issued with a Future Increase Option (FIO) prior to March 22nd will maintain the discount attached to the policy at the time of issue
  • Inforce policies with FIO pool amounts available may still practice an increase beyond the $10,000 issue threshold.

Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) discounts will remain unchanged at this time

Transition Guidelines

  • All applications must be received by new business no later than close of business on March 22nd, 2021, to receive current limits and discounting. There will be no exceptions.
  • Applications received after March 22nd will be subject to the new guidelines above, regardless of when the application is dated.
  • The Ameritas illustration software will be updated to reflect these changes on the next system release in May.

This communication originally appeared in an email to Ameritas’ distribution network. 

OneShare Health’s Sharing by the Numbers

Below is an update from OneShare Health with an inside look at its company numbers. Contact with your questions about this communication or to request an appointment.

We’ve set out to make a difference in our community by sharing in one another’s burdens and medical costs. Together, as a non-profit, we’ve helped our members access affordable health care while also partnering with charities nationwide to reach into underserved communities who need our support.

OneShare Health is always striving to be great stewards of member dollars through features, programs and practices such as:

  • HealthCare BlueBook
  • Bundled Solutions
  • OneShare Concierge
  • Direct Contracting
  • Strategic Network Solutions

Below are some notable numbers that were recorded as of December 2020:

  • Total Medical Expenses Shared– $73,225,141
  • Total Charitable Donations– $1,775,765
  • Sharing Requests Paid in 14 Days– 76%
  • Sharing Requests Paid in 21 Days– 91%
  • Average Sharing Requests Received Daily– 1,291

The numbers for February 2021 were recorded as follows:

  • Total Medical Expenses–$78,852,458.62
  • Eligible Sharing Requests–$5,627,317.17
  • Sharing Facilitated– $5,627,317.17

OneShare is a faith-based plan and is not ACA coverage.

This information originally appeared at

Mutual of Omaha: Updated LTC Other Than Applied Process

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Mutual of Omaha continues to evaluate our underwriting and new business practices in efforts to support business continuity, deliver a high level of service and maintain our financial strength.

Effective today, March 1, 2021, we will be updating the LTC other than applied processes identified below.

  • Declined Spouse: When both spouses apply and one is declined, underwriting will issue the approved spouse with a reduction in partner allowance percentage and remove Shared Care, if applicable. No hold will occur.
  • Rate Class or Benefit Selection with Shared Care: When one or both spouses are approved other than applied due to rate class or benefit selection, a communication is sent to the application designated contact notifying them of the required changes. We will hold issue for 7 days.
  • Underwriting Evidence: When an application is approved other than applied due to underwriting evidence, a communication is sent to the application designated contact notifying them of the required changes. We will hold issue for 7 days.

Ask your agents to encourage their clients to be as open and honest as possible during the application process, as undisclosed conditions can affect insurability. Here are some additional best practices to be proactive in eliminating other than applied situations.

  • Case Monitoring will reflect any updates to benefits applied for, giving producers an opportunity to have a conversation with their client prior to issue.
  • Please review Class 1 and Class 2 benefit limits.
  • Consult the Underwriting Guide for benefit limits due to family history and medical conditions.
  • Consult the build chart in Underwriting Guide to help with class selection.


This communication originally appeared in an email to Mutual of Omaha’s distribution network. 

Aetna: Schedule Change: This week’s commissions payouts

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We are adjusting some commission payout dates to better service your business. For commissions payouts that are scheduled for around the 1st of the month, we’ll combine the Wednesday and Saturday commissions into one payout.

Here is the list of the date changes you can expect this year:

Wednesday payout Saturday payout
March 3
(no payout)
March 6
(will include March 3 and March 6 payouts)
June 2
(no payout)
June 5
(will include June 2 and June 5 payouts)
September 1
(no payout)
September 4
(will include September 1 and September 4 payouts)
November 3
(no payout)
November 6
(will include November 3 and November 6 payouts)
December 1
(no payout)
December 4
(will include December 1 and December 4 payouts)
Note: All other dates will continue the normal Wednesday and Saturday schedule.

Faster service for pending and new business

From an IT perspective, commission payouts are one of our longest running jobs. That means it can impact our customer service representatives’ ability to service pending and new business. To avoid creating those delays, we’ve decided to move to one commission cycle on these select weeks. We made this decision after careful consideration; we understand how this impacts you. Since servicing your clients is a priority for both you and us, we appreciate your flexibility during this change to better service your clients.

We’re enhancing our systems

We are working to enhance our commission systems to better serve the business we are fortunate to receive from you. We appreciate your patience and sincerely thank you for your continued business.

This communication originally appeared in an email to Aetna’s distribution network. 

How important is a succession plan for your agency?

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When you first started your business, how far into the future did your planning extend? Perhaps you planned for five, ten or even twenty years down the line. How much thought did you give to your exit strategy?

Everyone agrees that having a written plan on file with your general agency, or someone who can ensure your plan is implemented, is important. If you are too ill or disabled to certify or support your business, revenue can stop very quickly.

Whether you have disability income protection or life insurance, your family and partners rely on you to ensure a paycheck arrives each month. Your commission checks may form a large part of your family’s income, and with a plan in place, everyone at LeClair Group can take action on your wishes, providing greater security for all your loved ones.

Things to consider

Though it might be difficult to accept, it’s important to bear in mind that business might be done differently under the new owner once you have stepped away. This is a factor you must be aware of and comfortable with if you decide to move forward with a new buyer.

Consider keeping your staff informed about where you stand with a succession plan. Many are already thinking of this, and your team is stronger with key people in the loop. If it is obvious you are “exiting,” or have become too ill to work for a while, people will support your through your transition or illness when they know a succession plan is in place.

Where there will be new owners, your staff and clients will need a warm “hand off” to ensure service and satisfaction continue. Confidence about retention plays an important part of the valuation of our business, and how you hand over and make arrangements plays an important part.

Make sure all your carrier partners and general agency partners know of you plans in plenty of time. Another important part of your valuation is confidence the AOR will pass to the new owner. Many carriers require in their contract that you have a succession plan on record in case something unexpected happens to you. The new owner of your business will also need to confirm they have all the necessary contracts in place to take over your book of business.

Who can help?

Whether you’re a sole proprietor or a large corporation, it’s important to have the right people in your corner as you move through your plans. Some hired help you’ll need include:

  • Accountant
  • Tax specialist
  • Attorney (ideally with experience in succession planning for independent insurance agencies)
  • Valuation specialist
  • LeClair Group

These professionals will help you in determining the value of your agency and the steps you’re taking to increase the value, along with what your long-term plan looks like and whether you plan to keep or sell your agency. Never underestimate the value of professional support; this will ultimately maximize profits and ensure that the efficiency of the agency continues increasing whether or not you choose to continue at the helm.

When it’s time to step back

Even when everything is in place for a proper succession, it can be hard to know when to finally put the plan into action. As long as you have a plan, it is much easier to adjust dates rather than scrambling to make a plan when you may not be in the strongest position to make agreements.

Succession planning is a continuous process. Once you have a plan in place, review it each year and ensure it meets the needs of your family, clients and business partners. The most important thing you can do is to start now and commit to having a good plan on record for your business.

Everyone that relies on and loves you will appreciate knowing what will happen when you plan to retire or if the unexpected happens to you.

Case Study

If an agent passes away before they pull together a proper succession plan, their entire business can be thrown into chaos, creating a mountain of legal problems for everyone involved. LeClair Group recently encountered this scenario when an agent passed away without a succession plan in place. This agent had discussed several times the need to create a succession plan, but always left it to another day.

As a result, significant issues and challenges arose, including:

  • Difficulties servicing current members with enrollment and general updates
  • Working with family members in the processing of data that existed in paper files
  • Tracking down companies the agent previously worked with through old tax returns
  • Paying out earned commissions to his beneficiaries
  • Preventing his Book of Business become carrier ‘house accounts’
  • Agreement to transfer the AOR to a local agent

The agent’s former colleague said that, had everything been properly in place, the succession process would have gone much smoother for everyone involved. LeClair Group knew the agents and carrier partners and advocated for a transfer to a local agent, who agreed to a financial plan to service his clients; this arrangement ensured that revenue continued flowing to the deceased agent family and the new agent without interruption.

“The transfer of business would have been easier to deal with so that we could service the members and have full disclosure of the carrier partners, along with the proper data that is needed for communication purposes,” she said. “For agents looking into creating a succession plan, it is good practice to do it sooner rather than later and not wait until the last minute.”

Keep us in the loop

Need help getting started? My Advantage Portal on offers a variety of educational resources on succession planning, from webinars to professional referrals. If you already have a plan or when you have completed your plan, please send a copy to LeClair Group for our records. Should anything planned or unexpected happen to you, it’s important that we know what to do with your book of business so we may help you deliver on your promises.

Reach out to if you have any questions.

LeClair Group announces new partnership with Diversified Brokerage Services

LeClair Group announced today a partnership with Diversified Brokerage Services (DBS), a nationally recognized brokerage general agency specializing in life insurance. This venture will allow each company to service a wider range of agents seeking a brokerage for their life insurance business.

“We’re thrilled to announce our new partnership with DBS,” said Tom Esselman, president of LeClair Group. “DBS is one of the leading life insurance hubs across the US, and their expertise will be essential in helping agents grow their life sales. Agents can rest assured that their life insurance sales will be well-supported by their partners at LeClair Group and with the life expertise of DBS to back them up.”

Diversified Brokerage Services is a family-owned life insurance brokerage that has served advisors across the country since 1968. In its second generation of leadership, DBS has cemented its reputation in the insurance industry and has retained deep, long-standing relationships with its carrier partners. With a deep bench of advanced case design resources, underwriting expertise, and skilled case management services, DBS is well equipped to provide comprehensive service for life insurance sales.

As George “Chip” Van Dusen IV, DBS Principal – President & CEO explained, “This is an exciting partnership for both organizations. I’m confident that LeClair Group agents will quickly see the tremendous value that DBS provides for their business, and they’ll come to rely on the advanced level of expertise we offer for life insurance sales.”

This partnership will have LeClair Group’s life insurance business directly referred to DBS for licensing and administering. With over 150 years of combined insurance industry experience, LeClair Group and DBS’s new partnership will open the door to resources and connections to help life insurance agents improve their business practices. Agents partnering with LeClair Group now have support to deliver simple and complex life insurance cases for all their clients.

“I’m really excited about this new relationship,” added Kurt Fasen, DBS Sales & Marketing Executive. “The life insurance expertise the DBS team brings to LeClair Group agents positions them to bring their practice to a new level, enabling them to offer new and more personalized life insurance solutions to their clients. This is a win-win for both firms.”

About LeClair Group: LeClair Group is an insurance brokerage general agency dedicated to supporting the growth and success of the independent insurance advisor. Founded in 1932, LeClair Group has supported agents, agencies and carriers for nearly 90 years. Visit to learn more about getting appointed.

MNsure: Open Enrollment Survey for Assisters

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We have launched our annual Assister Experience Survey to collect your feedback on your experience during the 2021 Open Enrollment. On Thursday morning, certified assisters and primary contacts of agencies active during open enrollment received an email with a link to the survey. This survey is an important element of MNsure’s evaluation of the recent open enrollment and helps us understand what improvements will make the biggest impact for our assisters. If you didn’t see the email in your inbox Thursday morning, be sure to check your junk/spam folder.

This article originally appeared at