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Health Insurance Brokers Pessimistic, but Customers Value Brokers

Insurance brokers dealing with health benefits are undergoing a crisis in self-confidence at the same time as their potential clients say they place a high value on what the brokers offer...
August 6, 2013

Insurance brokers dealing with health benefits are undergoing a crisis in self-confidence at the same time as their potential clients say they place a high value on what the brokers offer.

This surprising disconnect was revealed in the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report for Brokers.

Conducted by Research Now, on behalf of Aflac, the study analyzes the trends, attitudes and use of employee benefits, with results derived from online surveys of nearly 1,884 benefits decision-makers, 5,299 workers and more than 300 brokers.

The study found that America’s insurance brokers have been shaken by wide-ranging changes to the nation’s healthcare system and economic unrest, with 45 percent considering exiting the health insurance business altogether and 51 percent only somewhat or not at all confident about the future of their firms and industry.

At the same time, employers and workers surveyed by Aflac say they are dependent on the expertise of brokers and benefits consultants. For example, 78 percent of employees at least somewhat agree they would be more informed about their health insurance choices if they worked with an insurance consultant during benefits enrollment and more than one-third (35 percent) of those strongly or completely agree.

“From my position, running an agency that is multi-lines, I have always considered my benefits department to be a companion piece to the property/casualty business that we do,” said PIA National President Andrew C. Harris, in a forthcoming article in PIA Connection about how PIA agencies can adapt to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “Our clients look to us to handle their insurance needs regardless of what they are.”

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