THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) was voted into
law more than seven years ago, but the shakeup it
caused in the health care industry still hasn’t quite
settled. And where it has, it’s settled in some unexpected ways.
One is the shift in the benefits broker’s role from
salesperson to consultant, as health plans have become a necessity rather than a consideration. If you’ve
been contemplating consulting, or have recently made
the switch, here’s what you should know about the
future of the job, and what you can do to compete in
this growing space.
FACING THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE
When health care became a requirement for certain
businesses under the ACA, consulting was a natural pivot for brokers. The sales pitch for health care
coverage was obsolete, and the Supreme Court’s
ruling on the medical-loss ratio killed commissions.
Fielding client questions on the ACA looked a lot
Well, until “repeal and replace” echoed around
Washington, that is. The push to do away with the
ACA continues, despite several failed attempts. But
if that has you worried, know that the likelihood of
returning to the old system is almost zero.
Republican lawmakers are dedicated to ensuring
every American at least has access to health care,
meaning they’ll need a way to document who has
been offered health benefits. Reporting and legal re-
quirements will likely still be complex, and the transi-
tion period will certainly remain confusing.
All of this complexity and confusion opens up the
perfect environment for consulting. Employers will
continue to ask questions of their benefits brokers, and
brokers with a consulting license will have a consider-
able edge in answering and advising their clients.
Love it or hate it, the ACA marked an irreversible
in the ACA age
By Marcie O’Dwyer