Slideshow 5 brokers share their biggest concerns

  • July 13 2016, 2:26am EDT
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1) Commissions

Insurers are cutting back on paying brokers’ commissions, says Michael Stephens, president of Tulsa, Okla.-based Tallgrass Benefits LLC. “Legislation can solve it, but … something needs to be done now,” he says.

2) Government changes

Eric Kohlsdorf, president of Des Moines, Iowa-based Prisma Strategies is concerned with “what the government is going to change again.” He adds brokers and employers alike need and want consistency in the market.

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3) Regulation

The “overregulation that impacts small employers,” is of concern to John Parker, principal at Parker Agency in Niantic, Conn. All the requirements and changes make it difficult to keep clients up to date, he says.

4) Communication

Making sure every client knows about the individual mandate and encouraging employees to take advantage of their health insurance plan is top of mind for Wayne Sakamoto, president of Fort Myers, Fla.-based Health Insurance Interactive Inc. “Communication is the biggest thing,” he says. “Making sure people … get the message of purchasing coverage.”

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5) Staying abreast

For nearly his entire career, Alan Schulman, president of the Maryland Association of Health Underwriters, was an individual broker, wanting to answer to himself and be in total control. But with the realization of compliance, HSAs and more, he decided to be acquired by The Meltzer Group in September 2015 — a Bethesda, Md., brokerage. “I have found that I have a lot more I can bring to my clients and there are a lot of people supporting me so I don’t have to do 100% of 100%,” he says.