Before PPACA, brokers were primarily sales consultants or partners, and legal and regulatory knowledge was important but secondary. The theme of conversations with clients was “what benefit plan best fits your business?” Post-PPACA, brokers still have a sales role, but they have a more limited “menu” that they can offer, said Roger Abramson in his breakout session, “Wise Counsel: Say This, Not That When Advising Clients on PPACA Compliance.” Legal and regulatory knowledge are now just as important, he noted, and the theme is. “How can you most appropriately comply with PPACA?”

Abramson reminded the audience that it’s important to know what you know and what you don’t know. Clients are expecting the same level of what he calls “I-can-answer-that service that they’ve always had,” but the reality is that unless there is a part of PPACA, a rule or a regulation addressing a specific situation, “you don’t know the law,” he emphasized. “You know the PPACA rules, but you don’t know the facts; you need to know to apply the rules. What if the client has the wrong facts? Or doesn’t give you all the facts?”

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