I recently attended a presentation by Beverly Beattie, president and CEO of Selden Beattie Benefit Advisors, Inc. Beverly addressed an audience of entrepreneurs and small business owners and explained the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the increasingly complex and competitive employee benefits marketplace. While many in the industry assume that brokers will become marginalized as a result of healthcare reform, I came away from the presentation believing that a strategic benefits advisor is more important than ever.
Businesses have many decisions to make over the next 12-24 months as the healthcare reform law is implemented. For example, businesses with 50 or more employees have to decide if they will “pay or play.” Will they opt out and pay penalties or offer employee health insurance when the new rules go into effect in 2014? Many employers who do not currently offer health insurance may decide to do so after performing a cost-benefit analysis – which, of course, is good news for insurers.
It’s important for health care companies to identify those brokers and advisors in their distribution channel who are truly strategic (versus transactional), because I believe these will be the best sources for the new business opportunities that are certain to result from the complexities and changes of healthcare reform.