It’s a given – health care reform legislation will continue to change our industry in ways we never before imagined. These changes are already showing in our products, our services, and our bottom lines. For example, anecdotal data suggests that health insurance commissions could be lowered by up to 60 percent to accommodate health care reform mandates.
Benefits plan designs are changing, too: The legislation includes up to 85 percent in required loss ratios for certain group health plans, and the federal agencies involved in health care reform legislation, implementation, and oversight have requested input from industry and consumer groups and the public at large on how the minimum loss ratios should be determined.
Questions still abound, but we know that employers will seek new benefits alternatives, consumers will continue to exercise more choice over their coverage, and insurance carriers will strive to uphold their profit margins while reducing such costs as distribution expense. Many brokers will find their traditional revenue streams challenged, and will need to adopt new business models.
What will it take to thrive in this era of change? Historically, certain professionals have focused on a service differentiator rather than alternative product solutions to maintain and grow business. Now, helping clients cope with benefits challenges by offering innovative product solutions could be the key to our success. Cross-selling to existing clients would seem a logical place to start.