Dawn Knutson, ChHC, RHU, REBC, CLTC
Employee Benefit Specialist, Owner
As owner of Midwest Employee Benefits, Dawn focuses her attention on helping group health clients of all sizes. She works with fully insured and self-funded cases; presents staff proposals and conducts Affordable Care Act education sessions.
Growing up in small town and working as a teenager until now, Dawn understands that benefits can be a huge impact on a person’s life. A benefit plan can be the difference between getting medical services you need or not. It can also save someone financially or destroy them if they aren’t in place
Dawn is very passionate with assisting businesses and individuals make the best decision they can for their situation. She loves customizing plans and ideas then implementing them so they are beneficial to clients. She does not believe in forcing a one type approach, she believes in customizing the right idea and product to each client. Listening to what a client wants and providing it to them through knowledge and ideas then staying around to make sure it works for them and their employees is key to a successful plan.
Dawn continues to educate her in the industry and her certifications are a result of that. In 2014, Dawn was named one of 23 top producing agents by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Dawn was named 2015 and 2016 Agent of year Small Group South Dakota for Wellmark and she was also named one of their top producing agents in 2014. Having client loyalty, sales growth, Referrals, and Retention, Midwest Employee Benefits is growing despite the industry uncertainty.
Being in the field for 21-years, Dawn considers her biggest accomplishment is having a happy life. She has been married to her husband for 21 years, has 4 happy children and loves being a small business owner
Outside the office, Dawn and her husband Loren spend time outdoors with their four children and pets. She enjoys several sports, including golf, reading, and sewing.
If she wasn’t in her current role, Dawn would still provide knowledge. Benefits are confusing, people use their plan when they need it and ignore it the rest of the time. Knowledge is so important even if it is not something that is needed every day.
Dawn does not have an ideal client since all business and individuals are potential clients. Everyone needs strong benefit plan to protect them and make sure if something happens they are protected and their family members are too.
- Chartered Health Care Consultant
- Registered Health Underwriter
- Registered Employee Benefits Consultant
- Certified Long Term Care
- Golden Circle Award Winner (7 years)
- Promise Award Winner 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- 2015, 2016 and 2017 Agent of Year Small Group South Dakota for Wellmark
- LPRT Qualification: Leading Producers Round Table 2017 and 2018
- Distinguished Service Award
- Group Benefits Platinum Privileged Partner with Principal Life Insurance Company 2017 and 2018
- SME Sioux Falls, Inc.
- Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce
- Volunteers at several non-profits
Employee Benefits Specialist
Julie Assid has 16 years of health and ancillary insurance experience. She has worked as an account manager, servicing all aspects of self-funded health insurance plans, including presenting renewals, plant performance reporting, SPD and SBC preparation, analysis of benefit packages, employee enrollment and benefit meetings and all other areas pertaining to managing a self-funded plan. Prior to account management, Julie worked in customer service assisting plan members and providers.
Julie is most passionate about solving issues for clients. There is nothing more satisfying than helping a client work through a situation and seeing them happy. A problem she consistently solves for her clients are Employee questions on benefits. This includes anything from claims processed incorrectly to how to obtain authorization for medications. Her ability to explain benefits in a way everyone can understand is what she gets complimented on most.
In her free time, Julie, her husband Skeet, son Dylan and dog Gus enjoy camping, spending time at the lake, and watching Dylan protect the net in hockey. Julie also enjoys playing volleyball, biking, kayaking and paddle boarding.
If she wasn’t in her current role, Julie would flip houses. She is enjoys decorating and painting, skills she credits to her mom.
Julie’s ideal client is a group that self-funds their health insurance! She has worked with self-funded health insurance groups for 8 years doing everything from renewals and analytics to plan design and compliance.
- Member of Business Network International
- Secretary/Treasurer of BNI Elite Referral Partners
Danielle works primarily with Midwest Employee Benefits’ individual clients, but she has been known to work with group clients, too. Her responsibilities include processing individual quotes, applications, and renewals; marketplace enrollments; and putting together our company newsletter.
Danielle is most passionate with helping each client find a solution or product that best fits their needs and most complimented on being timely, organized and accurate. Personally, she is most passionate about her family.
She has been in the health insurance world for 4 years and has a degree in financial services. She is always helping clients with the everyday changes in health care. She is so good at what she does that current clients refer their family and friends to us.
Danielle, her husband Eric and their son Gunner, enjoy spending time with family, including their dog KJ, as well as hunting, fishing, trap shooting, sporting clays, and baking.
- Associates Degree in Financial Services, Southeast Technical Institute
- Business Network International
Direct Sales Executive
Jennifer has worked in the health insurance industry for over 18 years. Jennifer is passionate about providing customers personalized service and the most comprehensive insurance coverage designed to fit their budget. Jennifer is experienced with small group employee benefits, individual health plans and the Medicare Supplement market. Jennifer is also certified with the federal marketplace and can assist individuals in determining if they qualify for tax credits with the Affordable Care Act.
Jennifer attended NSU and graduated with a bachelor of science in education. Teaching and education has always been important to Jennifer. Educating the client on their benefits is one of her strongest attributes.
Outside of work Jennifer enjoys cheering for the Denver Broncos, traveling, golfing, fishing, horse racing and spending time with her family. Jennifer was able to full a bucket list experience and actually attended the Kentucky Derby a few years ago. Jennifer enjoys supporting the local community by being an active member of the Sioux Falls Chamber, the SME organization and an ambassador of the American Cancer Society.
- SME Sioux Falls, Inc
- Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce
- Ambassador for the American Cancer Society
- Business Network International Member
Sheri Baker, RHU
Sheri’s primary focus at Midwest Employee Benefits is working with employers on group benefits, although she has been known to work with all of our clients. Sheri processes group enrollments, changes, and terminations; assists clients with COBRA; claim explanations; assists clients with billing questions; prepares quotes and presentations for new and existing clients; and processes new group sales.
Professionally, Sheri is very passionate about assisting employers with solutions and to alleviate certain aspects of their HR piece of duties. She is also passionate in assisting employees understand claims and billing process. Personally, she is most passionate about her husband and dog.
Sheri has been in the field for 13 years, in which 7 of those years were with us at Midwest Employee Benefits. Her biggest accomplishment is receiving RHU designation.
She can be found solving billing issues, claim questions, enrollments, and COBRA questions for clients. She is most complimented on her quick response time.
Sheri is happily married and a mother to a wonderful son. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, fishing and spending as much time as possible with her friends, family and dog.
- Associates Degree
Peggy focuses on assisting and serving clients and her responsibilities include processing group enrollments, making changes to insurance accounts, explaining the claims process to clients and assists clients with billing questions. She enjoys working with the clients and helping them with all of their insurance needs.
Peggy is very passionate about doing the best job possible. Personally, she is passionate about being a good mother, daughter and living life filled with meaning and finding a balance.
She has been in the health insurance world for 2 years and one of her biggest accomplishments is continuing to expand by carrier in different areas of insurance. If you’re having problems with claims, Peggy is the one to ask!
Peggy’s education and work experience has helped with troubleshooting issues with computers and software. She is most complimented on her customer service skills, and willingness to help in other areas.
Peggy stays very busy with her son and her pets. Peggy spends her free time watching her son’s activities, including his 4-H sheep shows. Peggy also enjoys gardening.
- Associates Degree in Computer Programming, Lake Area Tech
Jessica has worked in the health insurance industry for the past five years. Her experience as a customer service representative has taught Jess how to research benefits and claims for both members and providers. Understanding the claim process as well as being familiar with medical coding has helped her in researching why a claim processed the way it did. Explaining in and out of network benefits is also crucial to a member getting the best benefit out of their health insurance plan. Jessica can navigate benefits for HMO’s, PPO’s, self-funded groups along with the ins and outs of flexible spending and health savings accounts. In addition to being knowledgeable about benefits and claims, she is also able to relay the information in a clear manner that has helped her advance to her current position. Jess will be focusing on assisting with quoting for new clients, renewals and administration. She is also excited to assist Medicare clients with the best plan options to suit their needs.
In addition to being on the insurance side of healthcare, Jess has always worked in a position that focuses on helping people. She started out her career in the health industry as a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Medical Aide. Being caring, compassionate, and a good listener has helped Jess to succeed and have happy patients and customers.
Outside of work, Jess is a mother to a son, two girls, and a dog. They enjoy painting, anything involving music, cooking, and the girls have recently started to get involved in local Cosplay events. They also love to travel and experience new places. Besides being a mother, Jess also plays on a pool league for part of the year, and a volleyball league for the other part. Being a team player is important to Jess.
At Midwest Employee Benefits, Jill works to keep our staff working at their potential. She is responsible for executing commissions, licensing & appointments, and administering the setup of HR Connection for our group clients.
Jill assists our Group Account Executives and Individual Specialists. She processes group enrollments, terminations, and changes as well as individual applications and renewals; puts together quotes for group and individual plans, and processes group plan renewals and new sales paperwork.
Jill is very passionate about accuracy, efficiency and timeliness when it comes to her professional career. Personally, she is most passionate about her family.
Jill has been in the field doing accounting, payroll and HR for 27 years. She has been working with insurance for 3 years.
She has an accounting degree which requires a high level of attention to detail. This is an important quality to have in her position doing the Accounting and Payroll for the agency as well as when submitting all New Group Paperwork.
If she wasn’t in her current role, she’d be in a role that requires attention to detail, that’s just her personality.
Off duty, Jill enjoys spending time with her family, including her 3 children and grandchildren, and her friends. She likes to be outdoors, on the golf course, and with a good book in hand.
Jill’s biggest accomplishment is purchasing a business at age 22 and running it successfully for 20 years while raising 3 kids. She sold the business when her kids graduated to move back to Sioux Falls area closer to family.