A Problem in the Benefits Industry

Recently, LinkedIn hit me with a post directed to benefits brokers.  I took a second to read the bullets before scrolling by and I have to admit I was ashamed of, and for, our industry.  Perhaps what I share below is why we use the term Benefits Advisor in lieu of broker.

Specifically, this company has a finite amount of space to “Market” to brokers, and here are a few of the bullets they used…

  • Same or better commission structure as BUCA (Blues, United, Cigna, Aetna) plans
  • Aggressive bonus arrangements
  • A “just add water” approach to self-funding
  • A chance to be an integral part of your client’s business

Quick translation on what this means to you, the employer.

This vendor, like others, knows that many brokers chase commissions, bonuses, and override dollars.  That they are willing to put something in front of their client solely for their gain. They were willing to use one quarter of their ad space just to talk about money to the broker!

The “Just add water” approach to self-funding… is scary and sad.  Self-funding is a powerful tool, but like most powerful tools it can be dangerous in the wrong hands.  If there is a broker out there that needs such a simplified version of self-funding I am begging you to reach out to me.  For your sake and for your clients.

Last, a chance to be an integral part of your client’s business. For many groups, their health and welfare spending is a top three spend.  If you are not already an integral part, shame on you or shame on that company for hiring you perhaps?

Years ago several folks at TBC read The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.  Our industry and our country could use a swift kick in the rear from this book.  To me, the book tells a simple story… when something(an institution like health insurance) blocks a potential path it is very likely that the blocked path leads to high levels of prosperity. If you have not read the book shoot me a note and I’ll get a copy to you.  Our industry has to be better than what this marketing thinks we want.

Nick Hendricks Benefits Consultant

Nick Hendricks

  • Self-funding
  • Pharmacy Benefit Management Optimization
  • Captives
  • Population Health Management
  • Disability Contracts
  • Employee Engagement/Communication
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