Long gone are the days of affordable health care costs and easy benefit renewals. The average total cost of employer-sponsored health care coverage now tops $20,000 a year for a family plan, with employers shouldering the burden of that cost.

Increases in employer-based health insurance premiums and deductibles have outpaced the rise in workers' earnings, causing many people to delay or forego care, and giving rise to deep feelings of frustration and resentment.

With tensions high over health care costs, brokers have gained a reputation as the bearers of bad news. Let's consider how we break that stigma.

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