One of the bright spots in Omaha, Neb., every June is theCollege World Series. It's a great sporting event that attractsthousands from around the country, including dozens of brokers whospecialize in selling benefits. And in addition to attending games,many of them choose to visit our office for our CWS BrokerRoundtables.

At these sessions we don't have a set agenda, aside from a fewquestions to prompt discussions (“what's on your mind” is theessence of the discussion). This gives our home office team theopportunity to hear from brokers in an open-ended format. So what's on their minds? During our discussions we received agreat deal of insight in this area, and can boil down the concernsto a big three.

In brief: health care reform, the economy, voluntary products, and … repeat ad infinitum. One item, healthcare reform, is an imposed driver of change for brokers and theirclients. The second, the economy, is an environmental force drivingemployers to seek efficiency and pricing economy. The third,voluntary benefits, is driven to increased prominence by the firsttwo partly because both health care reform and the economy havesqueezed broker margins.

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