BenefitsPro recently published an article by Dan Lyons and John Larew called, "Is the Sky Really Falling on Brokers?" It explored the facts and realities of the post ACA world, along with sharing broker sentiment, broken down by the bulk of their book of business.
Some highlights to take away:
(1) The days of paper enrollment and face-to-face selling, while still prominent, are giving way to a technological revolution. Online benefits administration and private exchange solutions are an increasingly important part of the business.
(2) For the right sort of broker — mostly small and focused on individual consumers — we expect to see a variety of service offerings, including guidance and enrollment, become a core part of the health insurance business.
(3) Brokers are already well aware of one of the strongest strategies for surviving and growing in today's health and benefits marketplace: offering ancillary products such as life, dental, vision and disability insurance.
(4) Take advantage of new distribution mechanisms and technology.
(5) When the dust settles in a few years, the winners in the benefits space probably would describe themselves not as brokers but as solution providers.
Brokers need to get used to the idea that they’re in an industry that is redefining itself, adopting new tools, creating new business models, and responding to rapidly evolving needs.
They close the article with a profound statement of reality, "The future belongs to the brave, the quick and the adaptable." See the full article and survey results here: