Advisers continue to struggle with the need to keep employer clients in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Bill Kite, president of D&S Agency is no exception to this struggle. In a discussion with Employee Benefit Adviser, he shared how his firm is trying to be more creative with solutions and also shared why he thinks out-of-pocket maximum legislation is the detrimental to the industry.

EBA: What size and makeup is your typical client and what are your firm’s product offerings?

Kite: Currently we hold 172 clients with several more pending and we offer products such as employee benefits, retirement plans, group life and disability plans and some voluntary coverage, but our main stay is medical.

EBA: How do you interact with your clients?

Kite: We do quarterly or annual reviews with our clients, we do employee meetings and communications; and we basically handle everything [the employer] worries about when it comes to group health insurance on behalf of the company and their employees.

EBA: What do you see as your top two or three challenges?

Kite: I would say developing new solutions for a client and making sure [clients] are compliant under ACA are two of the biggest challenges facing advisers and brokers.

EBA: How are you trying to overcome those challenges?

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"The business has changed in the sense that we’re not delivering carrier provided renewals and we have to be more creative than that."

Kite: We’re trying to be more creative on the solutions we deliver [to our clients]. The business has changed in the sense that we’re not delivering carrier provided renewals and we have to be more creative than that.

EBA: What do you see as the biggest changes happening in the benefits market?

Kite: The biggest changes I see happening in the benefits market, is the direction of legislation determining out-of-pocket maximums. I consider that to be the most detrimental thing that is happening. Many companies in the old days had out-of-pocket maximums that were $3,000 or $4,000, and in 2017 carriers could charge out-of-pocket maximums as high as $7,150. That is shifting way too much of the cost over to the private sector.

EBA: How do you think those changes are going to play out?

Kite: I think there will be fewer workers, because the carriers have to provide health insurance to those employees who work 30 or more hours per week. Ultimately I think [employers] will find ways to do more of these jobs with fewer people.

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