Maybe it’s time to get back to basics

SAN DIEGO – We can argue all conference long about health care reform, about what exactly’s going to happen in January and whether any of us will still have jobs by December — or next year’s Benefits Selling Expo.

But at least we’re finally getting past the abused spouse level of denial that’s pervaded the business for the past couple of years. We’ve all finally made it to the acceptance stage of grief and are starting to work out how we’re going to stay in business.

So if it’s taken us this long to get here, how do you think employers are doing? Or hell, even the employees?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a roundtable session with a dozen brokers and a couple of Aflac folks, where — among other things — we discussed Aflac’s latest Workforces Report.

Not surprisingly, roughly 80 percent of workers expect their employers to walk them through the changing health care landscape. Sadly, only 13 percent of employers are actively planning to do just that.

So as much as the Feds — or certain states — might want to squeeze brokers out of the health care equation, employees need you more than ever. And it looks like employers are happy, if not eager, to have you take the job off their hands.

And while we’re at it, maybe it’s time to get back to basics. We talk about more communication and better education but place these unrealistic expectations on employees. We want to treat them like consumers, but we’re not doing nearly enough to help them find their own way through a marketplace we’ve all been learning for decades.

Is that even fair?

About the Author
Denis Storey

Denis Storey

Denis Storey is editor for BenefitsPro.com and Benefits Selling magazine. He can be reached at dstorey@benefitspro.com.

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