Could the end of the group insurance agent be coming?

I recently saw the below article in one of our major trade publications.  I was so impressed by the article that I wanted to throw it out there and discuss it with our readers.  The sum total of the article puts the agent/broker community on notice.  No matter whom you work through on your employee benefits it is so important to have some form of accountabilty. 

What I am lingering on is how accountability has been lacking in the health insurance world for years.  Do you know the commissions your health broker/agent is making?  If you have been following our posts you have seen several references to this exact topic.  Why are agents so paranoid in showing their fee structure?  Lawyers, CPAs, and Consultants all specify upfront what specific fees will be during the course of a job.  The health insurance business has been “touted” as the same type of professional service.  Yet agents are still reluctant to give up that transparency that comes along with commission disclosure.

Here is an excerpt from the article and a link back to the entire article if you are interested.  The article was written by Mel Schlesinger.

It is my fervent hope that the moment you saw the title of this article you felt compelled to see what I am talking about. The first thing that you should know is that this assumption has absolutely nothing to do with any potential health reform. Regardless of health reform, the days of the health insurance agent are about to come to an end.

It is not that group health will not be purchased through licensed health insurance agents, because that will not change.

What has already changed is that the consumer recognizes that every insurance agent is going to present that the same products. The fact is that many of you are already finding that calling employers and asking for an opportunity to quote their health plan is not quite as effective a strategy as it was five years ago.

A common response to this inquiry is: “So, what carriers are you going to quote that my current broker cannot?”  Want to read on…

The end of the group health insurance agent is coming – Articles – Employee Benefit Adviser.

11 Responses to “Could the end of the group insurance agent be coming?”

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  10. I liked teh title of this article, which totally drew me in! I have to say that my experience with our group “broker/agent” would lead me down the path of skepticism of your industry. With the understanding of the one bad egg conversation in place, there needs to be some accountability and transparency for sure. This is especially true in how you all are paid as that is a lot of in the darkness feel.

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