Better automation can bring health carriers and producers together, rather than driving them apart.

TriZetto Group Inc., Newport Beach, Calif., makes that case in a summary of results from an online survey of 277 brokers who belong to the National Association of Health Underwriters, Arlington, Va., and an online survey from 82 health plan representatives.

TriZetto, which is helping to develop health insurance sales automation systems, says 89% of the brokers and 80% of the payers that participated in the surveys said they are interested in systems that enable cases to be quoted and bound online.

About 90% of the brokers and 65% of the payers said they are interested in multi-payer online exchanges, and 89% of the health plan participants said they see brokers as valuable partners, rather than as interlopers who ought to be disintermediated.

Many payer participants said improved sales automation would give brokers more time to serve their customers, TriZetto says.