Our 7 Step Elevate Process

At Next Level Insurance Agency we pride ourselves in working with our clients to help elevate their people and business.  After decades of experience, we know this just doesn’t happen, it takes intentionality and strategy to get results.  Our Elevate Process takes a deep dive into your industry, culture, market, claims, and technology, and looks for emerging benefit solutions to address your unique needs.

Our elevate process provides clients an upper hand in their respective industries. Next Level clients not only achieve higher results with a more efficient benefit offering but also see better outcomes for their employees and improved employee satisfaction.

While our competitors typically wait until the last minute to start working on your renewal, we begin months prior to proactively work with underwriters and your leadership to yield better results.  With all these factors Next Level can deliver the right custom solution to Elevate your Benefits, Elevate your People, and Elevate your Business!

STEP 1

Discovery &
Planning

Learn what you’re doing today, where you want to go and how we can get you there.

STEP 2

Data
Gather
 

Our due diligence process to gather all pertinent information about your business and employees.

STEP 3

Market Analysis
& Negotiation

Develop a relevant plan. Negotiate terms and rates. Build client-specific solutions.

STEP 4

Solution
Presentation
 

Present solutions based on client needs and competitive market. Educate on variances. Discuss client decision.

STEP 5

Finalize
Underwriting
 

Provide revised information to underwriters. Negotiate final rates and terms. Obtain client agreement.

STEP 6

Strategy
Implementation

Create materials. Educate employees. Integrate technologies. Capture data and install.

STEP 7

Ongoing
Management
 

Monitor. Review results. Implement tactics. Manage compliance. Provide client and employee advocacy. Manage employee transitions.

Our passion is to make a difference by elevating the employee benefits experience.

Our Story

Founded in 2016, after a decade of working in the industry, our team recognized all too often that benefits agents’ incentives were not aligned to the long-term success of their clients. Benefits agencies would pay the advisor to get a client in the door and then hand the client off to a service person who was extremely limited in their scope. In fact, most large agencies can take years to innovate as they have to lose enough business before they start entertaining the idea of  innovation.

Additionally, even if you found a great agent, most of the time the agency would not invest in employee growth and development.  We are on a mission to change that; we want our entire team trained the same way so everyone can grow, excel, and deliver an elevated client experience!  This process allows our staff to train with our agents, so they are up to date on emerging market solutions.  We are so committed to our employee development and growth we even filed our company training with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) for continuing education credit!

By looking at emerging trends we can truly be an innovator and early adapter in the benefit space compared to an out-of-date industry laggard who only changes when they lose clients.  We know our strength in building and maintaining life-long relationships and we invest heavily to deliver on that promise.

Another cornerstone belief has been to go where our clients need us instead of trying to get our clients to change or fit into our limited solution.  Our clients benefit from our:

  • innovative benefits strategies our competition doesn’t offer,
  • human resources support,
  • employee advocacy, and
  • technology solutions to improve the quality of your overall experience.

We design and deliver solutions that help employers manage risk and optimize benefits, all while strengthening their business through educated and engaged employees, and a healthier bottom line.

Our commitment to our clients does not stop when you sign off on your benefits package. Rather, we are just getting started with our proactive strategic planning and we commit to being more than just your benefits broker, but your partner — always in your corner and looking ahead to make benefits choices that make sense for your business.

Core Values

Accountability

Being Nimble

Creativity

Commitment to Excellence

Advocate

Sense of  Urgency

Positivity

Education

I appreciate Next Level team for being so patient and quick to respond! We have big plans ahead and feel lucky we get to partner with you all!
- April Grace, Recruiting Firm

Meet Our Team

Kate O’Connell
Owner
koconnell@nextlevel.agency

Kate literally “grew up” in the employee benefits business.  At the age of 13 she started working summers and helping in her family’s insurance agency.  During that time, she aided in the transition into a full-service employee benefits business where educating clients was a priority.  Kate, being a lifelong advocate for education earned a BS in Early Childhood Development at Texas A&M University and later her Masters degree in Learning Therapy from SMU.  As a schoolteacher, she would moonlight in her family’s agency and was often nicknamed “FEMA” for anytime an employee left she was brought in to fill the gap, do the hiring, training and set up the person for success.

In 2006 she married her husband who has a degree in Finance, a MBA, and has taught as an adjunct professor.  Sharing a love of education and creativity she brought him into the business to help innovate meaningful solutions for people and companies.

Since 2016 they built a team which has a national scope driven to make a difference.  Kate is proud Next Level has helped hundreds of employers and tens of thousands of employees to achieve better outcomes to health, wellbeing, and reduce their spend.  This focus has driven a higher overall employee satisfaction for their employer clients and helps guide the culture of Next Level Insurance Agency.

In her spare time Kate loves to travel, spend time with her 4 children, and root for her Aggies & Dallas Cowboys!

Ashley Mihelich
Director of Operations
amihelich@nextlevel.agency

Ashley Mihelich, Director of Operations of Next Level Insurance, is committed to creating a seamless onboarding and renewal process for every client. Born in Plano, Texas, Ashley graduated summa cum laude with a BBA in Finance and a minor in Financial Planning from the University of North Texas in 2003. Ashley has worked in the industry of financial operations since 2008 and has successfully operated and grown three companies.

Her hobbies include sewing and ballet. Ashley is a member of SHRM® and her expertise lies in process creation, time management and financial oversight.

I chose to join Next Level because I enjoy working within a high-achieving, hard-working team. My job at Next Level affords me the opportunity to play a role in all aspects of small business management, while being focused on growth and creating new ideas and solutions. I feel appreciated, valued and cared about as an individual at Next Level.

Tressa Allen
Operations Manager
tallen@nextlevel.agency

Tressa Allen, Operations Manager of Next Level Insurance, is committed to bridging the gap between knowledge of insurance benefits and a healthy working environment.

Using education as a key component benefits everyone. With a background in Human Resources and Insurance benefits, Tressa has a BS in Healthcare Administration and graduated with a MPA from the University of Phoenix.  She then continued to graduate with a degree in Human Resource Management in 2021. Tressa has worked in the healthcare industry for over twenty years as a Hospital Administrator, Human Resource Manager for multiple employers and Account Manager for an insurance broker. Tressa enjoys sharing her knowledge of healthcare and insurance as well as developing the employees and owners to grow the business to its highest level of success.

Her hobbies are traveling, swimming, hiking, reading, and spending time with her lovely daughter and puppy.

Tressa chose to join Next Level Insurance because of the work environment, which ensures growth professionally and personally towards educating the consumers on how insurance is available to assist everyone to be their best self. Furthermore, Next Level also provides the tools needed to select health and wellness options that will work for individuals and their families.

The career I have at Next Level Insurance continues to enhance my knowledge and passion for growth along with ensuring those who meet with me will not leave without gaining knowledge. Next Level Insurance takes the time to ensure that both the employees and customers have a great understanding of the job and the steps that are taken to provide the experience needed.  I am grateful to be a part of the team.

Tayler Hooser
Customer Service Representative
thooser@nextlevel.agency

Tayler Hooser, Customer Service Representative of Next Level Insurance, is committed to providing exceptional service for every client and potential client. Born in Dallas, Texas, Tayler is committed to becoming more educated, learning more, and growing in the industry. Her hobbies include creating art, reading, and fashion. Tayler’s expertise lies in customer service and employee enrollment.

I personally love working at Next Level because I take pride in genuinely helping people out as much as I can. Next Level also provides copious amounts of growth opportunities, so I am consistently learning and growing every single day. I have never been a part of such a genuine and caring team; every day they motivate me to work hard, and for that, I truly am grateful!

Lilia Camacho
Account Manager
lcamacho@nextlevel.agency

Lilia Camacho, Account Manager & Head of Service of Next Level Insurance, is committed to delivering great customer service and guidance with onboarding and day-to-day needs for clients. Born in Oak Cliff, raised in Grand Prairie, TX, Lilia graduated with a BS in Psychology from Oklahoma State University in 2006. “Go Pokes!” Lilia has been in the employee benefits industry since 2018 and strives to be a great mentor and assist current and new clients for years to come. Her hobbies include travel, hiking, spending time with friends and family, sightseeing, and naps. Lilia is bilingual and her areas of expertise entail being a benefits specialist, processing new clients, managing accounts, open enrollment presentations, benefit booklets, customer/relationship, and being results-oriented.

I enjoy working at Next Level because I can continue to grow as a professional here in my career. I get to help clients with benefits and enjoy the culture here with my coworkers. In addition to my Life and Health License, I am able to obtain certifications and take courses that help foster my growth. It is a fun atmosphere and I feel included and always a part of the team. We celebrate the company’s stepping-stones and team members just the same!

Isabel Armadillo
Account Manager
iarmadillo@nextlevel.agency

Isabel Armadillo, Account Manager, chose to join Next Level Insurance because they allow her to learn and grow as a professional in her career.  With over 15 years of benefit experience, Isabel takes pride and enjoys assisting clients with their benefit-related questions and open enrollment presentations.  Working with great team members who have the clients’ best interest at heart and a company that shares her same core values has been such an amazing experience!

Maribel Velazquez
Small Group & Client Advocate
mvelazquez@nextlevel.agency

Maribel Velazquez (bilingual)- Small Group & Client Advocate, is committed to our company’s principles in providing exceptional customer service, a seamless renewal process, and presentations of projects with integrity. Born in Weslaco, Texas, and raised in the Houston suburbs, a Conroe Tiger at heart. Maribel has worked in the insurance industry and is a Licensed Sales Professional since 2015. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, dancing, singing, and cooking. Maribel’s expertise lies in customer service, renewal experience, and educating clients during & after open enrollment.

 

One of the many reasons that I enjoy working for Next Level is knowing that we strive to help our clients find the best benefits options for their employees. By working hand in hand with our carrier representatives, we are able to negotiate rates, renewals, etc., making it possible to offer greater savings to our clients.

Regina Rodriguez
Middle & Large Market Specialist
rrodriguez@nextlevel.agency

Regina Rodriguez (bilingual), Middle & Large Market Specialist of Next Level Insurance, is committed to assisting clients and potential clients on acquiring the best benefit plan for their company. Born in Dallas, TX, raised in Amarillo, TX, Regina graduated with a BS in Mathematics from West Texas A&M University. Regina has worked exclusively in employee benefits since 2020. Her hobbies include travel, hiking, soccer and spending time with friends and family. Regina’s expertise lies in creating a detailed market analysis for middle and large groups while providing an exceptional customer service.

 

Being a part of Next Level has given me the opportunity to grow and expand my knowledge of the insurance business. I enjoy having the opportunity to assist our clients everyday to accurately process renewals and answer questions regarding their benefits. Being a part of a great team and working hand in hand from beginning to end with our clients has been an amazing experience.

Sierra Hill
Account Manager
shill@nextlevel.agency

Sierra Hill, Account Manager, is

Dana Call
Medicare Educator
danac@danacallmedicare.com

Dana Call spent several years as a Medicare Advantage healthcare consultant before becoming a Medicare insurance agent.  She is a business partner of Next Level Insurance Agency who offers Medicare support to clients and employees.  Working as an independent Broker/Agent, Dana is contracted with most major healthcare insurance carriers which allows her to focus on recommending the most appropriate Medicare solution for each person.  Previously, she spent over 30 years in the corporate business world, in numerous leading industries, in both executive and consultant positions.  Not affiliated with Medicare, CMS, or the Department of Health & Human  Services (DHHS).

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