What is in store for brokers and benefits managers this year? (Photo: iStock)

In 2017, that old Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” could cause brokers and HR executives to wonder about their sins in past lives, as the benefits industry is once again upended by a federal government that declares itself here to help.

Although many brokers, employers, and HR executives had issues with the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act, the system had been rolled out relatively slowly, tested in the courts, and was starting to see results — record low numbers of uninsured Americans, fewer people having trouble paying their medical bills, and a healthier financial situation for health care providers — though not for insurers, who continue to struggle with the older, sicker population that the ACA was bringing in as enrollees.

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