EZ-app & Coverpath – Electronic Application Submission PlatformsMassMutual has two electronic application submission platforms. Below are the main differences in each system.
EZ-app is used to collect and submit whole life, term and disability applications. All products and riders are available in EZ-app. The system allows for your client to apply for life and disability coverage simultaneously. Policies can also be e-delivered via EZ-app. We encourage you to utilize this system as it allows our New Business department to work with you and process your business promptly.
Coverpath was recently introduced as another online life insurance platform. The system is completely digital and allows you to start the application process with your client. It’s important to note that disability insurance and some life insurance products and riders are not yet available in this system. Coverpath allows for fluidless underwriting for up to $1M in coverage up to age 59. Clients must meet specific criteria to qualify. Click here for particulars on Coverpath product availability and details on ideal prospects for fluidless underwriting.
Coverpath provides clients with a seamless experience. However, since it is more client centered, only high level underwriting updates are provided to the broker. Our New Business department is unable to see real time updates and all questions would be directed to the Coverpath team. *Note: Coverpath is not available in NY and PR.
If you have access to both EZ-app and Coverpath, once you login to MassMutual’s Fieldnet site, you may be asked a series of questions to determine whether you want to submit your business through EZ-app or Coverpath. Unless you’ve determined your client is an ideal candidate for fluidless underwriting, or you don’t anticipate any significant underwriting issues, you may want to consider using EZ-app so our New Business Team can work with you more transparently during the underwriting process. The attached Resource Guide will show you step-by-step instructions on how to get into EZ-app and provide guidance on how to build an electronic application.
EZ-app Best Practice TipThe Producer Statement Form on the EZ-app will prompt you to enter Agency Contact. It is very important that you list your Fifth Avenue Financial New Business Case Manager’s contact information in this field. Failure to do so may result in the following: * Delay in information and communication from MassMutual regarding underwriting status, APS or any contracting or licensing issues pertaining to the case * Initial review of the case file may be delayed * Suitability review for NY cases may be delayed * If a binder/deposit (Temporary Life Insurance Receipt) is submitted with the application, processing the payment could me missed * Possible disruption in policy e-Delivery workflowAs you can see, including your dedicated Case Manager as Agency Contact on the Producer Statement Form is very important to prevent potential delays. If you do not know who to list as your Case Manager, please contact your Brokerage Director or email SalesandMarketing@fifthavefinancial.com.
Contact InformationEZ-app Broker and Proxy Access Set-up: Dawn Borrelli email@example.comSystem Password Reset: FAFITSupport@fifthavefinancial.com EZ-App Training: SalesandMarketing@fifthavefinacial.com
New Business Tip of the Month MassMutual has updated their COVID-19 underwriting guidelines to help expedite decisions. See Navigating Uncertainty for details. Full insurance labs remain the best way for clients to obtain the most favorable underwriting decision, but for clients not yet comfortable with a home paramedical visit, two options are available: an ExamOne Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center (orders placed through ExamOne and request a Quest Center) or the client’s primary physician (using lab kit processing instructions). If your client remains uncomfortable with these alternative exam options, MassMutual will consider electronic medical records (EMR) with labs and physical measurements within 12, 18 or 24-month timeframe, depending on client age. The fastest way to obtain EMRs is through the client’s patient portal or 1upHealth. If you are submitting business under these guidelines, please let us know by including a cover letter with your application. Your New Business Case Manager will relay this information to MassMutual. This information is important to avoid potential delays in the underwriting process. Contact your Brokerage Director or dedicated Fifth Avenue Financial Case Manager with any questions.
Premium Relief Update MassMutual’s 60-day grace extension now is available to clients who inform the company on or before Aug. 1 that they are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to pay their premiums due March 24 through Aug. 1, 2020, the premium relief period. Clients previously had until June 1 to contact MassMutual. Policy owners can request an extension by contacting MassMutual at 800-272-2216 Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm. Or online at https://www.massmutual.com/lp/navigating-uncertainty. Clients who ask for an extension will receive one.
Compensation Avoid $25 per check fee Reminder - Beginning with July 25 commission vouchers, MassMutual will charge a $25 per-check fee to offset the expense of preparing, printing, and mailing checks. You can avoid this fee by signing up for direct deposit today! Complete the FAST CASH form and forward to MassMutual for processing. Instructions are included in the form. Marketing SpecialCare SpecialCare is a program developed by MassMutual that provides access to information and resources to families with dependents, of any age, who have a disability. MassMutual is now making life insurance available to qualified individuals with the following disabilities: Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism. At this time, this product is offered through Special Care Planners and Chartered Special Needs Consultants (ChSNC®) exclusively. Non-Special Care Planners can partner with a Special Care Planner to offer this product. Additional information found here.
Product Strategy CareChoice Select: Funding Premiums with an Existing Annuity This producer case study demonstrates how your client can fund a CareChoice Select policy using an existing annuity. Advanced Sales Ways to Approach Buy-Sell Agreements When an Associate is Uninsurable or Heavily Rated There are a number of ways to approach the problem of the uninsurable associate. This strategy spotlight shares an overview of buy-sell agreements in conjunction with uninsurable or heavily rated associates.
New Business Tip of the Month Revised Illustrations Requests Upon Application Approval Revised illustrations are sometimes needed once your client has been underwritten and approved for life insurance. If that is the case, please email our Advanced Sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your request, please include the client’s name, policy number and indicate in your request that a “REVISED” illustration is needed for policy issue and delivery.
Client Service COVID-19 Premium Relief, Repayment Options Expand MassMutual’s 60-day grace extension is now available to clients who inform the company on or before July 1st that they are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to pay their premiums due March 24th through July 1st. The previous cut-off date was June 1st. Click here for Guidance for Premium Grace Period Extension Requests.
Product Updates CareChoice Select will Launch 6/20/2020 MassMutual’s CareChoice Select is a long term care/life insurance combination product with 12 annual premium payments, guaranteed benefits, and flexibility designed to help your clients prepare for their future long term care needs. Strategy Snapshot attached. Will be available in all states EXCEPT: CA, HI, IN, MT, NY. Reminder: 10 Pay and 12 Pay Product Reprice The last day to submit applications for the current priced 10 and 12 pay products is June 19th. MassMutual will increase premiums for new sales of Whole Life Legacy 10 Pay and 12 Pay to make the products better able to withstand continuing low interest rates.
Advanced Sales Private Split Dollar Arrangements: The Best of Both Worlds An overview of the Private Split Dollar arrangement and how it works. Qualifying Insurance Premium Gifts to an ILIT for the Annual Gift Exclusion This advanced sales comment overviews for the producer the complex nature of qualifying an insurance premium as a gift to an ILIT for the annual gift exclusion each year.
New Business & Underwriting Underwriting refines COVID-19 guidelines Changes strengthen competitive case offers New Business & Underwriting continues to handle COVID-19 challenges. New highlights are preferred consideration for up to $3M with no exam—even when using COVID-19 substitution guidelines; automatic reconsideration for a better risk class on recent standard approvals; reconsideration for a better risk class on approvals on or after May 11, 2020 is available until Dec. 31, 2020 and DI insurance FIO rider 60-day extension. Read more See the updated Navigating Uncertainty flyer for more details. Use new, limited-time Platinum Pass Term program Boost term life insurance coverage from now to year-end Review this communication regarding Platinum Pass Term Underwriting Program, which includes the updated Navigating Uncertainty flyer. Term Conversion Enhancements Allow a 25% increase in face amount with no additional underwriting requirements on conversions of Vantage Term to whole life insurance from now to year-end. Read more Express DI Underwriting Program Temporary Enhancement MassMutual is making a temporary enhancement to their existing Express DI underwriting program – up to $10K monthly benefit with no exam - to help advisors and customers facing the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice. Read more for information on program requirements. Extension to Exercise Guaranteed Insurability Riders The ability to exercise Guaranteed Insurability Option (GIO), Guaranteed Insurability Rider (GIR), and Insurability Protection Rider (IPR) has been extended to 90 days. The exercise window for Future Insurability Option (FIO)on disability income policies has been extended by 60 days for policyowners that have an FIO option date that falls between 3/16/2020 and 6/30/2020 . These riders guarantee policyowners the right to purchase a specified amount of insurance without evidence of insurability on election option dates. The new policy will still be dated on the option date (anniversary date). Consider use of alternatives to examiner visits Follow lab kit processing instructions for PCP option New Business and Underwriting offers alternatives to examiner visits for fluids and physical measurements. This article has been updated to report that all applicants who choose ExamOne can use a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center.
Product MassMutual CareChoice Select debuts in June MassMutual will soon launch CareChoice Select, a level-premium, 12-pay whole life insurance policy with long-term care (LTC) riders. The product offers clients an attractive option to address their LTC protection needs and can be an important part of their overall life insurance and retirement strategies. Share the announcement with your brokers! CareChoice Select Overview Craig Waddington, head of MassMutual U.S. Life Product, will preview CareChoice Select, covering how the product is constructed to meet varied client needs and how the new product differs from CareChoice One. Please RSVP by clicking on this invitation. MassMutual Repriced 10 and 12 Pay Products Coming in June Premium increase will help products endure continuing low interest rate environment In June, MassMutual will increase premiums for new sales of Whole Life Legacy 10 Pay and 12 Pay to make the products better able to withstand continuing low interest rates. Click here for more information as well as transition key dates.
Compensation and Commissions Start benefiting from direct deposit today Avoid $25 per-check fee coming in July If not enrolled, please refer to this communication on how to sign-up for direct deposit.
FIFTH AVENUE FINANCIAL HAS A NEW HOME
Please update your records with our new address. All other contact information will remain the same. We’re now located at:
Fifth Avenue Financial90 Park Ave, 17th FloorNew York, NY 10016
Best Practices for Paperless New Business TransactionsAs we have all seen in the news, companies in the US are contending with contingency plans surrounding the coronavirus. Workforces are moving to remote locations in order to conduct business. We want to make sure that our brokerage community is prepared by being up to date with electronic new business process. We encourage you consider adopting these practices in light of the recent environment. Not only will this help the communities that are impacted, but it will reduce cost and increase efficiency in processing your business overall. Here are a few New Business Best Practices you can implement when submitting your business.EZ-AppEZ-app is MassMutual’s electronic application system used to collect and submit whole life, term and disability applications. The system is intuitive with wizard-based entry and allows for eSignature. For instructions on how to submit EZ-app applications, please see our EZ-App Process for Brokers resource guide.Paper Application SubmissionsIf you have a wet-signed application, please scan the application and email it to our New Business centralized inbox NewBusiness@FifthAveFinancial.com. You can send the forms to us securely by typing the word “SECURE” in the subject line of the email. Please make sure the copy you remit is clear and complete. An original application is not needed. Initial Premium Payments Initial premium payments can be made via electronic bank draft (PAC Form) regardless of the payment mode selected. Check off “Initiate a one-time EFT Transaction” in section 1 of the form. The PAC form is included in all policies upon delivery. The form can be emailed, along with delivery requirements directly to your case manager or to our centralized inbox NewBusiness@FifthAveFinancial.com. Obtaining a PAC form is the most efficient way to report your business.
NY REG 187 Now in Effect!
Please note changes in New Business Submissions. All applications must include client signed illustrations with disclosures and suitability questionnaire. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS!
All brokers must complete Best Interest and MassMutual proprietary product training PRIOR to obtaining an application with a contract state of NY. See NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers for training instructions.
All pages of a signed and dated illustration must be submitted with the application. Illustrations must match the benefits on the application and be signed prior to or same day as the application.
Producers must disclose suitability rationale on the Suitability Questionnaire that forms the basis of the recommendation. All NY applications must include the Reg 187 Suitability Questionnaire. Information must be obtained on the policy owner. The Reg 187 Pocket Guide can help you determine suitability for clients when the contract state is NY. There is a different suitability form for Conversions.
Reg 187 & Replacements
Brokers are required to do more leg work before application submission when replacing a policy. Please note that this does not replace the current MassMutual Regulation 60 process, this is in addition to. *There is no exception to the submission of the below requirements with an application.
Conversions to ALIR Disallowed in New York
Because of financial suitability requirements included in Regulation 187, MassMutual no longer allows term insurance conversions to the Additional Life Insurance Rider (ALIR) in New York, effective Dec. 31, 2019. Beginning March 1 in all states except New York, the company will permit conversions of term policies to scheduled, unscheduled, or planned ALIR as follows:
· The Renewable Term Rider (RTR) and Life Insurance Supplement Rider (LISR) cannot convert to ALIR.
Vantage Term Premiums Reduced on Base Products
As of February 22nd MassMutual reduced premiums for base term products in the Vantage Term portfolio by up to 4%, with rates for most bands and age ranges generally decreasing by 2%-3%. Rates for extended conversion period (ECP) products remain unchanged. Reach out to your Brokerage Director for details or email email@example.com for a quote.
FIFTH AVENUE FINANCIAL IS MOVING!
We’ll be relocating our office on February 18, 2020. Please update your records with our new address below. All other contact information will remain the same.
NY REG 187 – Changes in New Business Submissions Effective January 25, 2020
All brokers must complete Best Interest and MassMutual proprietary product training PRIOR to obtaining an application with a contract state of NY. See NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers for training instructions.
All pages of a signed and dated illustration must be submitted with the application
All applications must include client signed illustrations with disclosures and suitability questionnaire. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS!
MassMutual Whole Life Product Portfolio
This tool kit provides product overviews and marketing pieces on MassMutual’s Whole Life Legacy Series. Highlights of MassMutual’s underwriting guidelines and programs are also included.
SignatureCare 600 LTCi
Effective January 31, 2020 – Individual Long Term Care (SignatureCare 600) is available in CT, NJ and PA. The Advisor Reference Manual will provide you with basic information needed for solicitation, writing and servicing of MassMutual’s SignatureCare 600. The Client Brochure can be shared with clients.
MassMutual Broker WebCast
MassMutual’s New Whole Life Product Portfolio
Mass Mutual is enhancing their existing products and introducing several new ones to ensure that you can meet the needs of all of your clients.
Upcoming Workshop – Innovative New Whole Life Products & Sales Concepts This workshop will introduce you to MassMutual’s new whole life products. We will also discuss when each one is competitive, how to position at point of sale and have an overview of the variety of new riders that are now available. *Note: This is NOT a Continuing Education course. Strategy Speaker: Michael A. Book, CLU, ChFc, CLTC, Managing Partner & General Agent, Fifth Avenue Financial and James X. Farka, SVP, Advanced Sales, Fifth Avenue Financial Wednesday January 22, 2020 10am-12pm Fifth Avenue Financial – 530 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
NY Reg 187 - Best Interest & Product Training for Life Insurance Policies with a Contract State of New York
New York Regulation 187, became effective Aug. 1, 2019, for annuity contracts, and goes into effect Feb.1, 2020, for life insurance policies with a contract state of New York. MassMutual has set Jan. 25, 2020 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers must ensure Best Interest and Mass Mutual proprietary product training is completed.
Brokers can access Best Interest and MassMutual’s proprietary training modules for life insurance via RegEd. Please refer to the NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers, which includes screen shots to walk you through the process. Completion of Best Interest and proprietary product training is required under New York Regulation 187. MassMutual has set Jan. 25 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers who have not completed the Best Interest and Product training by the deadline will not be able to submit applications.
Please contact your Brokerage Director or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
2020 Federal Tax Information
For use with clients, this brochure provides 2019 Federal Tax Information ranging from standard deductions to individual income tax rates.
Estate Tax Change and You
This strategy spotlight overviews the history of Estate Tax and the changes that occurred through the years.
Illustrated Dividend for BOE and Buy-Sell Disability Income Insurance Increased
The illustrated dividend for Business Overhead Expense (BOE) and Buy-Sell DI insurance products has been increases from 10% to 25% of premium.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
NY Reg 187 - Best Interest Training for Life Insurance Policies with a Contract State of New York
New York Regulation 187, also called “Suitability and Best Interests in Life Insurance and Annuity Transactions,” sets a standard of conduct for producers when interacting with clients and making recommendations for any life insurance or annuity business in New York State.
The regulation became effective Aug. 1, 2019, for annuity contracts, and goes into effect Feb.1, 2020, for life insurance policies with a contract state of New York. MassMutual has set Jan. 25, 2020 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers must ensure Best Interest Training is completed. Here are instructions to complete Best Interest Training.
MassMutual Proprietary Life Insurance Product Training
Once you complete Best Interest Training, you will be required to complete MassMutual life insurance product training. Brokers can access MassMutual’s proprietary training modules for life insurance by referring to page 2 of the NY Reg 187 Quick Start Training for Brokers, which includes screen shots to walk you through the process. Completion of the proprietary training is required under New York Regulation 187, which goes into effect Feb. 1, 2020. MassMutual has set Jan. 25 as the implementation date for all process changes associated with the regulation. Producers who have not completed the Best Interest and Product training by the deadline will not be able to submit applications.
Brokerage Product Portfolio
Reach for the Top Shelf
Whether you’re helping clients protect their family and business, or plan for retirement, MassMutual’s suite of annuities, long-term care solutions, life and disability insurance products can help. Here’s a list of products available in Brokerage.
CPI Inflation-Adjusted Numbers for 2020
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation adjusted numbers for qualified plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) in 2020. These numbers relate to contributions to qualified plans and IRAs. These include pensions, profit sharing plans, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457(b)s, IRAs, Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs), SIMPLEs, Roth IRAs, and Roth 401(k)s.
New Business News
Help More Foreign Nationals with Lower Face Amount
As of Nov. 23, MassMutual’s non-high-net-worth foreign nationals underwriting program offers a $500,000 minimum face amount option for non-U.S. citizens living abroad when there is a $15,000 minimum life insurance premium. The attached updated program brochure provides details on eligibility requirements/guidelines for non-high net worth foreign nationals.
Latest Life New Business and Service Forms
Due to 2017 Commissioners Standard Ordinary (CSO) Mortality Table updates, there are new versions of many life insurance new business and post issue service forms. See attached list of forms, which can be retrieved from FieldNet. Contact email@example.com if you need updated forms.
MassMutual Broker Webcast
MassMutual’s Long Term Care Planning Solutions
November is long term care insurance awareness month. Find details and register for the November 21st Webcast to learn about MassMutual’s long-term care insurance planning solutions for your clients.
2019 Year-End Critical Dates
Please review for year-end deadlines. Adherence will ensure the best service and timely payment of commissions.
MassMutual Rules and Key Dates for Transition to 2017 CSO
MassMutual and all other carriers must comply with the 2017 CSO guidelines for designing and pricing their life insurance products by year-end. Any products based on the 2001 Commissioners Standard Ordinary (CSO) Table that are still available for sale must be issued by Dec. 31, 2019, to be in compliance. Here are key dates and transition rules to keep in mind.
UL Guard and SUL Guard Premiums will rise Nov. 23rd
Due to continuing low interest rates, MassMutual’s UL Guard and SUL Guard premiums will increase at the same time these products are updated on November 23, 2019 to meet the requirements of the 2017 CSO Mortality Table. Here are some key points about the upcoming changes to MassMutual’s universal life products.
Competitive Underwriting Alerts
More competitive offers available for many clients.
New guidelines take into account the most recent prognosis-based refinements in prostate cancer staging, which enable greater accuracy in determining the mortality risk.
Executive Benefit Planning - Leveraged Bonus: Income Tax Deduction Plus Control
Done in case study format, this strategy snapshot is intended for end clients to help provide them another option to help retain key employees to help them save for retirement and protect their families.
2019 Quality & Performance Brochure
This brochure provides a detailed look at key competitive measures that help differentiate MassMutual in the current marketplace; use to demonstrate the company's enduring strength and long tradition of providing quality products and services to help customers achieve financial security.
Planning for the Financial Protection of Children and Young Adults
Written in case study form, this strategy spotlight overviews the importance of properly drafted estate planning documents in order to avoid unintended consequences.
Whole Life Insurance as a Business Asset
Many businesses need life insurance on owners or employees to provide key person protection and/or fund buy-sell agreements. Companies often choose term life insurance to meet this need, simply because of its low cost (i.e., premiums). However, for businesses with strong cash flow, whole life insurance can be an attractive alternative to term insurance.
New Business Updates
NEW: High Net Worth Foreign Nationals Underwriting Program
Help wealthy residents of foreign countries meet their life insurance needs. This new underwriting program targets high net worth foreign nationals living abroad but with business, financial, or personal interests in the United States.
MassMutual Participates in Military Insurance Conversion Program
In support of those serving in the United States military, MassMutual is proud to participate in a program allowing veterans and their spouses to convert military group insurance policies to individual commercial policies. About 250,000 servicemembers leave the military each year. Within 120 days of their date of separation from the military, those covered by SGLI can convert their group coverage to a WL20 policy without underwriting. In addition, spouses can convert their Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSLGI) within the same 120-day window after established life events.
More Details: SGLI/FSGLI/VGLI Conversion Program Resources
Single Premium Whole Life insurance, (SPWL-2013, ICC13SPWL and ICC13SPWL in North Carolina), is a participating, permanent single premium life insurance policy issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA 01111-0001.