2015 is finally here — which means it's time to speculate aboutwhat might happen in the benefits industry in this new year. We asked someexperts to give us a few predictions. Here's what they said.

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Political battle.

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“I think the second round of open enrollment for PPACA willgo more smoothly, and we'll see millions more sign up for healthinsurance. With this issue waning, you'll see Republicans trying tofind something else to pin on Obama as they jockey for position asthe 2016 presidential nominee. Thus, with all the posturing thatwill be going on, very little — if any — meaningful legislationwill be passed. It will be all politics all the time.”

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—Carroll Fadal, distribution officer, American FidelityDistribution Arms, Texas Life; Waco, Texas

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Photo: Associated Press/Susan Walsh

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Survival game.

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“Advisors will see the small group market fade away as moresmall businesses abandon group-sponsored health insurance and sendemployees to the public exchanges. Instead, they will eithersell their practices, merge with larger organizations or focus thenecessary resources on developing tools, strategies and expertisein the mid-sized to large markets. Those who choose to innovate andadapt will survive — at least for another five years or so.”

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—Aaron Davis, president of NextLogical Benefit Strategies;Benefits Selling's 2013 Broker of the Year; Westminster,Maryland

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Photo: Associated Press/Don Ryan

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Consumerism growth.

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“Everyone will have a high-deductible plan/healthsavings account/healthreimbursement account or some type of plan that forcesthe employee into consumerism. Worksite or voluntary plans like accident/critical illness/gap plans will become moreprevalent. I also expect more brokerage consolidation, and thinkmost brokers will have in-house compliance managers/attorneys.”

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—Jani De La Rosa, senior vice president, Heffernan InsuranceBrokers; San Francisco

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