HOW BROKERS ARE EMBRACING HEALTH CARE REFORM SO THEY DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND

Two-thirds of the brokers answering the Benefits Selling/Oliver Wyman Health Care Survey a year ago predicted that health care reform legislation would be scaled down or overturned altogether. That didn’t happen.

In this year’s survey, reported in a May 22, 2013 BenefitsPro.com article, nearly 80 percent of brokers believe PPACA will be fully implemented in 2014 and they are now talking about their role in the post-reform world and the changes they are making. Producers are bracing for subsidized exchange marketplaces, rating standards, essential health benefits, and several new insurance taxes and fees…all of which go into effect in 2014.

Here’s a summary of what brokers said in the survey:

  • More than 70 percent believe public health care exchanges pose a moderate or large threat to their businesses.
  • More than  half (54 percent) expect medical commissions to decline in 2014, compared to just 40 percent in 2012. About a quarter of respondents expect declines of 25 percent or more.
  • With all the changes, employers and employees alike will increasingly need the sort of guidance producers have traditionally provided; therefore, 77 percent predict that insurers will either maintain or improve relationships with brokers in 2014.
  • Almost half (46 percent) expect to place less emphasis on health insurance as a core offering in the post-reform market.
  • Although preserving group coverage is still the top priority, nearly two-thirds of brokers hope to remain the agent of record for group members who move to individual coverage.
  • Given that PPACA will increasingly commoditize core medical products, producers plan to offer customers a broader, more integrated suite of benefits.

Keep in mind that this will also be an opportunity for you to introduce Purchasing Power’s employee purchase program to your customers and prospects. Provided by an employer at no cost and with minimal administration, offering an employee purchase program can help employees improve their financial wellness as they deal with health care reform changes.

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