For brokers, the uncertainty created by Donald J. Trump’s ascendance to the presidency on Friday means one thing: opportunity.
The ambiguity swirling around what will happen with employee benefits, healthcare reform and former President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act means clients will be looking to advisers for answers.
Whenever there is change, confused people want experts who will dig into the situation and can make the otherwise complicated simple, explains Mitchell Andrews, partner at brokerage The Plexus Groupe in Deer Park, Ill.
It is a story that repeats every time regulations change, he explains, saying employers will be looking to brokers for answers.
Recalling 2010, when the ACA became law, Ed Oleksiak, vice president and shareholder at brokerage Holmes Murphy in Dallas, says “We are going to be as critical as ever. We helped everybody [in 2010], but we had to learn about the ACA and help clients figure it out [first].” Whatever the Trump administration policies are will be a change and it is critical that agents/brokers get up to speed and help clients, he adds.
Also see: “ Unwinding ACA: Impacts & Implications .”
With monumental changes expected under Trump, Will Glaros, managing partner of Schererville, Ind.-based brokerage Meyers Glaros has plans to grow his brokerage in the near future. “We are ramping up to increase the size of our agency because we see a lot of opportunity out there,” he says. “[Employers] are going to need more guidance than ever.”
“I have a little history on my body, so I’ve been through this lots of times, … such as COBRA,” Glaros, who entered the industry in 1978, adds. “[Everyone thought] the marketplace was going to go into chaos, but it was nothing but opportunity.”
Every time chaos comes, Glaros adds, his firm has benefited from it —because they are prepared for it. “If people want to survive, they need to be prepared from an educational standpoint and technology standpoint to meet the needs of their clients.”
Sima Reid, president of Long Beach, Calif.-based brokerage twentytwenty Insurance, also sees opportunity as employers may invest back in their companies and hire new employees. “Hopefully a renewed confidence in the growth of their business with leads to opportunity for everyone,” she says.
Whatever regulations the Trump administration rolls out, brokers will need to become experts on them — and make their voices heard through their associations, such as the National Association of Health Underwriters, Oleksiak, chairman of NAHU’s legislative council, says.
Brokers “have to have input in the design and regulations … then help our clients,” he says.
Andrews, a member of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers Council of Employee Benefits Executives, looks toward CIAB’s upcoming annual meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. “We will talk to [legislators] about their agenda and see where the county goes and what the political scene will allow,” he says of the February meeting.
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