Below is a list of frequently asked questions for our member leaders. If members have other specific questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As of 1.1.2023 BetterLife will be closing our Career Agent Offices. This was a very difficult decision; as always we look to what is best for our members and membership. Most fraternal benefit societies no longer maintain a career distribution model because of the expense required to support it. This will make us more profitable in the long run and will allow us to remain the financially strong company you have come to know. We will continue to service our membership through independent, home office, and direct-to-consumer support. Your agent will likely remain the same, if there are any servicing changes you will be notified.
- How will this impact members?
BetterLife will be more profitable, which will make us even more financially strong and provide more money for investment in future growth and service. In the long run, members will greatly benefit from this decision.
- What is the difference between a career agent and an independent agent?
A career agent is an employee of the company and primarily represents only BetterLife. An independent agent is an independent contractor and represents multiple companies providing the best solution to their client. Independent agents who have a contract with BetterLife will continue to be able to offer all BetterLife products including all member benefits.
- How does this impact the service of my contract?
It does not impact your service, we will continue to service our membership through independent and direct-to-consumer agents, and home office staff. It is likely that your agent will remain the same, if there are servicing changes you will be notified. You are always welcome to call our toll-free number (800-779-1936) with any questions.
- Will members be able to keep their agent?
We are encouraging current career agents to stay with BetterLife as independent agents. If they stay, they will be able to continue to service their existing clients.
- Will independent agents be able to attend BetterLife Member Group (branch/lodge) Meetings?
Yes, we encourage our BetterLife Independent agents to attend meetings and activities. Some of our current independent agents are actively involved in their local Member Group.
- Does this have any impact on the new Member Group model starting on 1.1.2023?
No, the new model rollout will continue as planned.
- How will we support member groups that have been supported by career agents and agency offices?
Local agents will be encouraged to continue to work with their local member groups. Today, many branches and lodges are primarily supported by home office staff. Going forward, member groups will continue to get support from the home office Member and Community Engagement team.
How do members apply for national scholarships? Are there any changes?
For legacy members, not much has changed, except that there are more scholarships available and members applying must be insured for at least two years. There are now 58 scholarships with $68,000 available.
Winners have been selected for the 2022-2023 school year. Applications for the 2023-2024 school year will be available in November 2022 on our Scholarships page.
Will there still be state and local scholarships? Who can apply?
As for state and local scholarships, there will be no change to those given out by branches and lodges. Member groups will still go through the same steps they have in the past: run the scholarships through their committee, choose the number and amount of the scholarships within the guidelines, and choose the winners through an impartial judging process.
If the scholarship applications are made available statewide and your state now includes new member groups, the scholarships must be offered to all members. For example, Wisconsin has 20 branches and 20 lodges, so if applications were sent to members in all branches/lodges, they would need to include members in those additional member groups as well. BetterLife’s Home Office teams can help the committees reach out to the new members.
Can we have our local or state application featured on the BetterLife scholarship page?
Yes! Please email the scholarship application and requirements to email@example.com to have your group’s scholarship included on our website.
BetterLife Magazine and Newsletter
How does our group get featured on the monthly e-edition?
There will be a monthly email edition that will feature unique content including branch and lodge highlights, member benefit stories, financial information, and company updates. Make sure you and all of your branch and lodge members are on the email list! If you would like to be added, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What printed materials are available through BetterLife?
With the help of the marketing team, member groups will be able to request postcards, flyers, posters, program templates, and more. Examples of events that could have this promotion include special dinners, community events, fundraisers, dances, rummage sales, festivals, etc. The marketing team will design, print, and mail out materials to the members or the folks in your community you’d like invited. Request marketing materials through our Publicity Request form.
Where can new BetterLife materials be purchased?
Our online store, BetterGoods, is available to members, agents, and BetterLife employees. The store includes BetterLife logo items such as office supplies, apparel, drinkware, and other fun promo items. BetterGoods gives member groups quick and easy access to materials for community events, branch/lodge gatherings, and personal use to start a conversation about who we are at BetterLife. Check out BetterGoods by clicking here.
What should I do with Western/NMB promo items?
If you still have Western Fraternal Life or National Mutual Benefit promotional items or goodies, please do not continue to use them. Feel free to donate to a shelter, community center, or any other community group in need. If you have old clothing, please check with the organization to find out if they are accepting clothing at this time.
Home Office Questions
Who is in the BetterLife Member Engagement Department?
Angel Thomas, Senior Vice President, Member Experience
Zach Snell, Director, Member & Community Engagement
Davis Brinkmann, Member Engagement Senior Specialist
Hannah Berckman, Marketing and Member Engagement Specialist
Where should I send my mail?
We prefer materials to be sent via email whenever possible: email@example.com.
Please send your mail to our Home Office in Madison.
6522 Grand Teton Plaza / PO Box 1527
Madison, WI 53701.
What should we do with our checking accounts that say Western Fraternal Life or National Mutual Benefit?
At this time, you do not need to change the name on your checking accounts. The bank will require documentation from the IRS for you to change the name on the branch/lodge accounts. We will send an official IRS document to each branch/lodge when it is received at the Madison, WI headquarters office to change the name on their financial accounts.
NMB/Western were licensed to do business by the Commissioner of Insurance in their respective states. Western was licensed by the Iowa CI and NMB by the WCO. When we consolidated, legally, National Mutual Benefit merged into Western Fraternal Life’s Federal ID number. So we used Western’s Federal ID number and NMB is gone and its EIN# cannot be used. Because we haven’t filed all the tax documentation to have our products licensed and approved in Kansas, the last state for approval.
Therefore, use the checks you have for right now. You don’t need to re-order checks right away with BetterLife on them. If you must re-order, please order small. If you need to re-order immediately and can’t wait to get new name documentation from us, it might make sense to just use “Lodge #000 or Branch #000” without the BetterLife name included.
Through 2021, we will work with financial institutions to get the name BetterLife on the accounts. If you have any other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Should we open a new bank account for BetterLife?
You should not close the account and open a new one. Hopefully, every Member Group will be able to use the same accounts they currently have. For your information as a member, you will find a copy of the new BetterLife Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in the February BetterLife Magazine.