Has it only been a year? When I think back to what life was like when I was named Broker of the Year in April 2015, it feels like I was in a completely different industry. So what's changed? In a word: everything.

First, I have taken more responsibility for the role I have previously played in contributing to the worsening quality of our health care and increasing costs of our health insurance. In retrospect, it seems silly to think that continuing to flip carriers, raise deductibles, lessen benefits, narrow networks, and toss in more poorly designed wellness programs — all while employees and employers still pay more year after year — would fix the problem. Doesn't more of the same just produce the same result? I vowed to change this, and the results have been dramatic.

Second, I moved out of a world where my income level and my sales success were dictated by carriers. Why should I depend on them to 1) give me the rates I need to close the sale, and 2) pay me an ever decreasing commission for an ever increasing amount of work? No more! With increasing frequency, employers pay me directly.

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