Frequently Asked Questions
And, more importantly, answers.
Q. What components make up NextAgency?
There will soon be three of them. Right now there’s NextBroker, our agency management system, and NextHR, our employee management system. In 2018 we expect to launch NextMarket, where you and your clients will find products and services to help you grow your businesses. To learn more, please use this site’s navigation menu to visit the NextBroker and NextHR pages .
Q. What’s the difference between NextBroker and NextHR?
NextBroker is an agency management system that helps brokers sell more easily and effectively. NextHR is a basic and straightforward employee management system that makes it easier for your clients to track employees time and attendance, onboard new employees and send employee data to vendors like payroll companies.
Q. What does NextBroker do?
NextBroker helps you sell more business, more easily and provide better service to your clients. It also helps you operate more effectively and efficiently — a critical advantage in today’s market. NextBroker’s powerful agency management system (AMS) and other tools helps your entire team stay up to date on your prospects’ and clients’ needs, including reminding you of commitments to follow-up or send material. NextBroker also allows you to create client, carrier and vendor libraries to store notes and files. In addition, NextBroker helps you track commissions and pay sub-agents.
NextBroker’s quoting and enrollment workflow tools help you quickly generate proposals from the carriers and general agents you already work with and to create, share and track custom enrollment kits when your prospects are ready to become clients.
You’re already successful. You shouldn’t have to adapt the way you do business to fit your software; your software should adapt to the way you do business. That’s why we built NextBroker to be simple and flexible. We also built it to be private and secure. After all, it’s your business. We make sure it’s protected.
Q. What does NextHR do?
NextHR helps your clients focus on their business by reducing the hassle of HR and benefits administration. Our time tracking tools enables employers to easily track time worked (and time taken off). We recognize your clients work with many different payroll companies, insurance carriers, ACA compliance firms and other vendors. That’s why NextHR’s powerful workflow engine and custom report generator empowers them to export this data in the right format to the service providers of their choice.
NextHR also helps your clients more easily bring aboard new hires, create libraries of benefit information and HR policies, and reach out to you through NextChat, our in-system messaging tool.
Best of all, you can provide NextHR for free to as many clients as you like, regardless of the number of employees they have. And their NextHR installation will feature your branding so your clients will know who to thank.
Q. What will NextMarket do?
NextMarket will provide you and your clients with the tools, services and products needed to succeed, often at a discount. For example, you and your clients will be able to find and save on web design and hosting services, find affordable legal help, discover voluntary and specialty benefits, and evaluate broker-friendly payroll systems and PEOs.
At NextAgency we understand and respect that the companies you introduce to NextHR are your clients. They rely on your advice and guidance. We don’t interfere with that relationship; we strengthen it. So you control which products and services your clients can access through NextMarket. Have your own preferred payroll company? They won’t see ours.
Q. You call yourself a data management engine. What's that mean?
Data management engines help users organize, monitor and execute tasks. We realize that might not sound like much, especially given the claims made by others. However, our goal is not to change the way you work. We aim to help you work better. That means we don’t generate quotes, instead we make it easier for you to get them from your current carriers and general agents. We don’t create ACA forms. Instead we make it easier for your clients to get the information to ACA Administrators that do.
Q. How much does NextAgency cost?
NextAgency is a great investment. And during our Impatient Discount Program it’s an even greater value: 50% through September 30, 2017.
NextAgency’s regular licensing fee is just $225 per month or $2,250 per year for the first broker and the agency. For each additional broker in your agency the fee is reduced to $125 per month or $1,250 per year.
We’re strong supporters of NAHU here, so NAHU members save. Their monthly fee is $200 per month or $2,000 per year for the first broker and your agency. The license for each additional NAHU member broker is only $100 per month or $1,000 per year.
There’s no licensing fee for support staff. Because when we say NextAgency is “Simply Affordable,” we mean it.
Q. Does each broker in my agency need a license?
Yes. Your agency will need to purchase a NextAgency license for each Writing Broker and Administrative Broker using the platform. Support Staff may use the system for free. Whether an individual in your agency should be using NextAgency as a Writing Broker or a Support Staff, however, is up to you. Please see the “Roles and Permissions” section of this FAQ to learn more.
Q. If I’m a Admin Broker can I make anyone I want a Writing Broker?
Yes, you can purchase a NextAgency license for anyone in your agency and assign them the Writing Broker role (please see the “Roles and Permissions” FAQs for more details). Please know, however, they will appear on forms and in the NextHR platform. Consequently, Writing Brokers should be licensed agents.
Q. Is there a single agency bill or are brokers invoiced separately?
Your agency will receive a single invoice showing all the users in your agency. We charge a single credit card for all the brokers (Administrative or Writing) associated with your agency. There’s no charge for Support Staff.
Q. Can I pay for our licenses by check?
At this time we only accept American Express, Mastercard and VISA. We’ll set up the ability to accept payments from your checking account down the road, but for now, it’s credit cards only.
Q. How do I or my Writing Brokers claim the NAHU discount?
When you sign-up for NextAgency you’ll indicate whether you’re a member in good standing in the National Association of Health Underwriters. We immediately apply the discount (which amounts to tad more than 11%). Then we check with NAHU and if you’re a member, the discount remains in-force. If you’re not showing as a member we’ll contact you so you can work things out with NAHU. If it turns out you haven’t earned the discount we’ll charge your card for the difference.
Q. I’m not a NAHU member now, but I’d like to join. How do I do that?
When you sign-up for NextAgency you’ll be able to join your local NAHU chapter as part of the process. Given the voice NAHU gives you in Washington and your state capital, the education and compliance tools it provides members and the opportunity to network with professional colleagues, we think you’ll find it makes a lot of sense to join – especially since the discount will cover most of your annual dues.
Q. I pay annually, what if I hire a Writing Broker in the middle of my license year?
We pro-rate license fees of Writing Brokers so all brokers have the same renewal date. Writing Brokers signing-up mid-term are prorated until the start of the next payment period. For example, let’s say a Writing Broker joins your agency six months after the Administrative Broker’s start date. That Writing Broker’s fee for the remainder of the year ($1,125 or, if she’s a member of NAHU, $1,000) would be billed to the agency’s credit card and provide her with a user license through the remainder of the agency’s year.
Q. What if somone leaves my agency, can I use their NextAgency license for another broker?
Yes. When you remove a broker from NextAgency mid-license period you’ll receive a credit equal to the unused term of the departing broker’s license period. We’ll apply that credit to any new brokers you add to the system and your credit card will be charged only the remainder.
For example, let’s say on January 1st you invest in annual licenses for three brokers in your agency NAHU members. You’re total fee would be $3,000. On July 1st one of these brokers leaves your agency. We’d set-up a $500 credit for you (six months left on the $1,000 annual license fee is $500). On October 1st you add two brokers to NextAgency. The credit would fully cover the license fees for each broker for the remainder of the year. (As explained in the previous Q&A, the new brokers’ licensing fees are prorated so they share your agency’s renewal date).
Q. Should I have Writing Agents or have everyone in my agency use one license?
That’s your choice. If all brokers in your agency write business under your agency’s name and can have access to information on all the agency’s clients, then sharing one license should do the trick. If brokers in the agency need their own names on proposals sent to clients, their own names on their clients’ NextHR portals, have their own license information on online enrollment forms, and be able to view only their own client data, then each broker needs their own license. Either way, we don’t know of a better value than what NextAgency offers.
Q. Do I have to pay an additional fee if I write business through my agency?
No. When you sign up as a broker your agency tags along (or vice versa if you prefer seeing things from that perspective). When you set-up your NextAgency account you’ll indicate whether the system should default to your personal or your agency information, but you can change that choice for any particular client.
The Lets Do This Discount Program
Q. What is the Lets Do This Discount Program?
It’s our way to make getting started with NextAgency in 2017 easier so you’re ready for a great 2018 by discounting our license fees by 50% and making our on-boarding service, NextConcierge, free through December 31, 2017. Just enter LETSDOTHIS in the promo code when you sign-up for NextAgency.
Q. Can every broker in my agency receive the discount?
Yes, If you’re on a monthly payment schedule, additional brokers will save 50% on their licensing fees from their start date through your first renewal in 2018. If you switch to an annual license before December 31, 2017 you and other brokers in your agency will save 50% until your renewal date in late-2018.
Q. Is the 50% discount in addition to other discounts?
Yes. NAHU members already receive a substantial discount. So do brokers investing in an annual license. All these discounts are combined. For example, our standard licensing fee is $225 per month, which works out to just $2,700 per year. Pretty affordable, right? But NAHU members pay only $200 per month and if they sign-up for an annual license the cost is just $2,000 per year. That’s already a 26% savings. But a NAHU member getting an annual license before January 1, 2018 will invest just $1,000 — a savings of 63%. That’s what’s known as a big savings.
Q. What happens on January 1, 2018?
Our standard rates go into effect. So on your first renewal in 2018 you’ll pay the standard rate.
For example, let’s say Broker Bob signs up for a monthly NextAgency license on October 15, 2017. Bob pays $112.50 per month until January 15th at which time the fee becomes $225 per month. Additional brokers in Bob’s agency pay just $62.50 per month until January 15th when they start paying the standard fee of $125. (Of course, if they’re NAHU members they pay less).
Another example, Broker Betty, a NAHU member, signs up for an annual license on October 15th. She’ll pay $1,000 for year and other brokers in her agency (who are also NAHU members) pay just $500 per year. When she renews on October 15, 2018 her fee will revert to the standard rate of $2,000 per year.
Q. And NextConcierge is free through December 31, 2017?
Yes. We know the thought of getting all your client, agency and carrier data into a new agency management system can be daunting. That’s why we created our professional on-boarding service: NextConcierge. And from now through the end of 2017 we’re making this service free. No-cost, no-pain on-boarding. Now that’s a great deal.
Roles and Permission
Q. User roles within NextAgency clearly matters. Why?
To protect sensitive information and allow users to focus on what data they need to see, NextAgency provides you and your clients the ability to restrict who sees what inside NextBroker and NextAgency.
In NextBroker, users are either: Administrative Brokers; Writing Brokers; or Support Staff.
Your agency must invest in a license for Administrative Brokers and Writing Brokers. Support Staff, however, are may use NextBroker for free. (Please see the Pricing FAQs for details).
Q. Who are Writing Brokers?
Writing Brokers are brokers signing up under an agency set-up by an Administrative Broker. Their name appears on all communications with their clients and on their clients’ NextHR portal. At its simplest, people in your agency writing business in their own name are Writing Brokers. Writing Brokers have access only to the data their Admin Broker permits, which by default is just the Writing Broker’s own data. While Writing Brokers can invite support staff onto the platform, a Writing Broker’s support staff can only access data their Writing Broker can access.
A license must be purchased by Administrative Brokers and Writing Brokers, but not for Sales Support.
Q. Support Staff use NextBroker for free? Who are they?
Yes, there’s no additional charge for your Support Staff to use NextAgency. They have the same access as the Writing Broker or Administrative Broker with which they’re associated. However, Support Staff’s name and contact information do not appear in your client’s NextHR portal nor do they appear on forms. In addition, Support Staff cannot add or modify NextBroker users.
Q. Who are Administrative Brokers?
Administrative Brokers are the power users in your agency. They assign roles, can add and terminate users and have access to all your agency’s NextAgency data.
The first person in your agency to sign-up with NextAgency is given Administrative Broker status (this status can be changed later). This individual invites others onto the NextAgency platform. Administrative Brokers can assign others in the agency as Writing Brokers, Support Staff or even as other Administrative Brokers.
Be careful in assigning the Administrative Broker role, Writing Brokers have access only to the data of clients assigned to them, Administrative Brokers have access to all information associated with all clients.
A license must be purchased by Administrative Brokers and Writing Brokers, but not for Sales Support.
Q. Who assigns roles in my agency?
Administrative Brokers have the authority to invite Writing Brokers, Sales Support and other Administrative Brokers onto your agency’s NextAgency account. Writing Brokers can invite Sales Support users onto the platform. Sales Support users cannot assign roles.
Q. How do I assign a role?
- Log onto NextBroker and click on the down arrow next to your name in the header. Select “Account Settings” from the drop down menu.
- Scroll down to the “User Management” section (the third section on the right) and click on the “View/Edit Authorized Users” link.
- Click on the “ADD AN AUTHORIZED USER” button.
- Select the appropriate role from the drop down menu.
To change a current user’s role, simply click the pencil in the Actions column next to the user’s name.
Q. How do you protect data from hackers?
We can’t guarantee that information during electronic or email transmission or digital storage mechanism can never be hacked, but we take our responsibility to protect the data you and your clients entrust to us very seriously. When you or your clients enter sensitive information (such as sign-in credentials) our security protocols kick in. We adhere to among the highest available encryption standards, 256-bit SSL encryption. Data is transferred with high-grade TLS and multi-layered encryption at rest with AES-128. Encryption keys are stored separately from your data. Our employee’s access to sensitive data requires multiple authentications and is restricted to a limited number of authorized personnel performing specific tasks for our customers. When our personnel do not need access to critical data the information is either fully-or-partially redacted. For example, customer service reps will be presented with only the last four digits of an employee’s social security number whenever feasible.
Q. Is NextAgency HIPAA compliant?
Yes. As part of the sign-up process you and your clients will sign a business associate agreement with us. We then limit access to unencrypted versions of this information to only those needing such access. Of course, our ability to protect PHI is limited to protecting the information on our service. Once it is transferred or made available to you, your agency, your clients or authorized third-parties you or they are responsible for protecting your clients’ PHI.
Q. Who owns my client data?
You and your client do, not us. You give us permission to use the data to provide services, but you retain all ownership of it.
Q. What can NextAgency use client data for?
We use the data to make NextAgency useful to you and your clients. We allow those users with appropriate permission to view client data, print reports and the like.
Q. Will you communicate directly with my clients?
We will not send marketing messages to your clients without your permission. The only direct communication we have with your clients concerns the NextAgency platform. For example, we’ll provide them with information they need to use of the platform, let them know when maintenance is being done, and make them aware of NextAgency enhancements.
Q. Can NextAgency personnel access financial information of my client’s employees?
Our Customer Service personnel see only encrypted or masked versions of private data (e.g., only the last four digits of a social security number or the last five digits of a credit card number). Even our software developers cannot access unencrypted versions of social security numbers, credit cards, bank account information, and the like. Our IT engineers may be able to access this information, but only when required and subject to strict limitations and logging requirements.
If you or your clients voluntarily sign-up for our optional concierge onboarding service, our concierges may access sensitive data. This service uploads employee information (including benefits and payroll data) into the system. All of our concierge teams are based in the United States and subject to U.S. laws and regulations.
Q. Can I access the financial data of my clients and their employees?
No, unless they explicitly give you this access. Information your clients enter into NextHR such as their employee’s banking information is private. We know some of our competitors allow you and your staff to access this information, but we think this creates a serious liability for you. In the event of a data breach at your office you’ll need to justify the need for you and your staff to access your clients’ sensitive data. The authorities may not look kindly on your privacy practices if your clients don’t know you have access to this kind of information. That’s why we allow your clients to provide you access (by creating an account for you on their NextHR installation), but they have to make the decision to do so.
Q. What encryption does NextAgency use?
We encrypt user’s data—from login to logout—with one of the highest encryption standards available, including 256-bit SSL encryption (the same technology that banks use to keep your account information safe). Our in-house security team regularly reviews every security aspect of NextAgency. We also keep a real-time audit log of all data access and changes made by administrators, employers, brokers’ employees and our automated system. We also use outside parties to test our security and report to us any vulnerabilities they discover. We act quickly to address their findings.