There's been a good deal of talk lately about brokers' concern over their future because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how that may cause them to leave the industry. But the fact is there's just a different type of opportunity now. Brokers today must be more than expert sales professionals — they need to be consultants. 

The new broker role focuses more on helping employers with their HR objectives than it does on simply presenting a variety of products for the employee benefits plan. It involves assisting employers in understanding PPACA and its impact on their employee benefits plans. It means providing guidance on a number of benefits trends. And it includes educating employers on the status of their employees' financial well-being, its effect on the company, and the various ways, including through voluntary benefits, that employers can help employees improve their financial wellness.

Brokers who've gravitated to this new role are now helping employers structure voluntary benefits programs to improve employees' financial health and provide a financial safety net.

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