The Affordable Care Act – Exploring the Consequences
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) saw many employers – especially small-to-medium size businesses, forced to reduce their company healthcare benefits in order to afford coverage. Healthcare insurance providers modified their plans to include higher premiums, larger deductibles, less coverage, and fewer options in healthcare providers. Additionally, ancillary benefits such as vision and dental care, which were previously part of a comprehensive health care package, are being dropped from healthcare plans.
Employees who still have basic medical coverage are counting their blessings: “Well, at least I still have coverage and I’m not being fined for not having healthcare at all.” Other Americans, who are self-employed or unemployed, face a scenario of healthcare options they can’t afford through the government marketplace, or paying fines for being uninsured.
Same Work, Fewer Benefits
If you look at it that way, employees are fortunate to still have coverage. But these hard-working Americans are doing the same work for their employer, working the same long hours, earning the same pay, but saw their take-home pay or their healthcare benefits reduced for no logical reason. Is that “lucky” or “fortunate?” We don’t think so.
Could you imagine joining a company with full dental coverage, expecting to have your children’s braces paid for or knowing you were covered if you needed oral surgery, only to find those benefits gone as a result of ACA? Maybe you have worn glasses your whole life and specifically requested a vision plan during salary negotiations to save you hundreds of dollars a year. Now, that benefit has been taken away and your employer isn’t sure how to make it up.
To be sure, changes in healthcare coverage place employers in a difficult spot, because they might face reduced company morale. They have to get creative with affordable perks or think outside the box in terms of benefits. (Continue reading and we’ll share more on how you, as their insurance broker, can help with this….)
Affordable Care Act: Impact on Insurance Agents
Finally, insurance agents are seeing profit margins erode. Healthcare is more difficult to sell, while commissions have dropped. Your customers are unhappy, but the products aren’t available for you to provide them with a better deal.
Insurance agents are fleeing the business in droves. According to the AFLAC Workforces Report for Brokers, 49 percent of insurance agents are leaving the industry, while 67 percent say they know someone who has already left.
The upcoming 2016 election brings even more uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act, the future of health care in the U.S., and the profitability of a career as an insurance agent. But there’s no need to fear. Brokers across the U.S. are finding increased profits in selling ancillary benefits, including dental, vision, Group Life/AD&D, and enhanced disability benefits.
Why Ancillary Benefits Are the Answer
For employers, these ancillary benefits – which can be offered as 100 percent coverage or on a cost-sharing basis – can be the answer to reducing dis-satisfaction with current benefit plans and improving company morale. In some cases, they can replace benefits – like vision and dental – that were previously part of a company’s comprehensive healthcare coverage. In other cases, they can simply reduce the sting of higher healthcare premiums and deductibles, fewer choices in providers, or overall reduced coverage.
Ancillary benefits put the power back in the insurance brokers’ hands, so you can provide your customers with products that will make them – and their employees — happy.
As your full-service provider and back-office administrator for ancillary benefits like dental, vision, Group Life/AD&D and enhanced disability coverage, The DBL Center Ltd. can point you to the benefits packages that offer the greatest value to your customers, with multi-line discounts when you purchase benefits from the same carrier – and put money in your pocket.
If the Affordable Care Act has you shying away from selling health insurance, isn’t it time to consider bolstering your business with ancillary benefits?
Contact The DBL Center Ltd. today to see why ancillary benefits are the answer to increased profits and disability insurance is just the beginning.