RE/MAX on Thursday announced a new benefits program that, it says, will allow its agents and brokers across the U.S. to get healthcare at lower costs.
The new program — which the company announced at its R4 convention — is called Health Benefits Provided by ABO and will give RE/MAX members access to preferred provider organization (PPO) plans through insurer Aetna. Agents, brokers and managers can begin enrolling April 1, and the plans will cover family members as well as RE/MAX members, according to a company statement.
The plans will initially be available in 49 states, with coverage in Hawaii “forthcoming,” the statement adds.
RE/MAX’s statement further explains that the program will offer a variety of insurance options with set rates. While the options will vary by location, the takeaway is that “factors like age and existing health conditions will not be taken into account when receiving a quote on a chosen plan,” the statement notes.
In addition to health insurance, the program also includes the ability to add on additional coverage for things like vision and dental care.
Health insurance has become a hot topic in recent years in the real estate community in large part because it can pose a major challenge for agents, most of whom are independent contractors. That means many agents don’t have access to traditional employer-provided healthcare and typically have to fend for themselves when finding a plan.
In response, a number of big real estate companies in recent years have moved to offer some sort of healthcare plan. Realogy, for example, announced a program dubbed Spark in 2019 that helps agents navigate the process of choosing coverage. And Keller Williams partners with Stride, a company that helps independent contractors find benefit plans.
RE/MAX previously partnered with independent firms that provided coverage, though it didn’t have a single, formal company-wide program in the same vein as Spark. Those partner options will still be available, but RE/MAX agents will now also have the ability to work through the company’s proprietary system as well.
On RE/MAX’s website for the new program, the company touted that it will give real estate professionals “more value at lower costs.” The program should also provide lower deductible options, lower out of pocket maximums, copays for emergency room visits and a variety of other benefits.
Pam Harris, RE/MAX’s senior vice president of customer experience, and her team developed the new program and will oversee its rollout. She and RE/MAX Chief Customer Officer Nick Bailey announced the program together at R4 Thursday.
In a statement, Bailey noted that the “program really changes the landscape of insurance offerings for RE/MAX agents.”
“It provides access to high-quality, discounted coverage for RE/MAX affiliates and their families,” Bailey continued, “delivering a level of security they may not have right now.”