Brokers are under tremendous pressure as the entire benefits industry undergoes sweeping and, in many cases, unsettling transition. Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are forcing brokers to hunker down and seriously re-evaluate their business models—from an operational and, even more fundamentally, a value proposition standpoint.

The new legislation poses a direct threat to the commission-based compensation models on which the majority of agents and brokers have built their business. Many believe this will prompt an industry-wide shift toward a fee-based broker model. While businesses are always looking to streamline processes and reduce overhead, fee-based models force brokers to probe more deeply into every aspect of their enterprise, from administrative overhead to marketing and communications expenditures in order to establish and maintain viable profit margins.

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