The Role of Brokers in a Changing Healthcare Industry

Changes in the healthcare industry have had subsequent effects on brokers and the products they promote.

Healthcare is constantly evolving. Today’s employers want healthcare options that are as diverse and forward-thinking as their workforces. To succeed, brokers need to move away from monolithic healthcare systems and create comprehensive, technologically-advanced solutions for the modern workforce.

Keep reading to explore some ways brokers can look beyond cost savings and offer other valuable services.

Healthcare Consumerism Is Changing Your Clients’ Expectations

Today’s healthcare industry is increasingly consumer-focused and reflects individuals’ increasing willingness to take accountability for their healthcare decisions. Rather than a single PPO health plan, some employers are building private exchanges where their workforce can choose from a wide variety of healthcare options — including high deductible plans, accountable care networks, and more traditional plans.

While pricing is still important, your clients aren’t just looking for cost-effective health plan options. Many of them also expect:

  • Access to top-rated physicians, hospitals, and healthcare facilities
  • Affordable telemedicine options
  • Digital access to their healthcare information
  • Practical funding strategies and price transparency
  • An emphasis on preventive care and wellness
  • Tools that help estimate and track members’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs

These changing expectations also reflect changes in our workforce. Millennials and younger workers are becoming the core of your clients’ teams. You need to build solutions that mirror their desire for accountability, choice, and information.

This also means that you need your business relationships to extend beyond HR executives and business owners. Brokers need to build rapport with individual policyholders who are trying to navigate the numerous healthcare options their employers offer. Look for venues where you can interact with and educate members and enrollees — during Open Enrollment and beyond.

Create Personalized, Data-Driven Solutions

Most brokers understand that cookie-cutter solutions don’t resonate with their clients. However, as the healthcare industry evolves, it will become increasingly important to build highly-customized healthcare solutions that recognize your clients’ unique goals, pain points, and values. Before you can tailor a healthcare solution for your clients, you need to carefully analyze their utilization data, employee demographics, and population health information. Based on this data, you might uncover cost savings or unmet health needs.

Offer Services and Expertise Beyond Cost Containment

Health and benefit plans are only part of your modern portfolio. Your clients need you to do more than negotiate benefit prices. Along with traditional products and plans, top-performing brokers are offering other services, including:

  • ADA and ACA compliance consulting
  • Employee engagement solutions
  • Healthcare literacy services

Businesses need these complementary services to manage and implement their benefit plans. When you offer consulting services alongside your health and benefit plans, you give yourself the opportunity to build trust and emphasize added value to your clients.

Offer Innovative, New Healthcare Options

Healthcare costs are growing by roughly 5% every year. This level of growth could quickly price many businesses out of their current benefit plans. As a broker, you have an opportunity to effectuate change in the healthcare industry one client at a time. Don’t simply rely on the old-fashioned PPO plans that businesses are accustomed to.

Instead, educate them about innovative healthcare solutions that decrease the cost of healthcare while maintaining or improving the quality of their members’ care. Quality healthcare options emphasize accountability, coordinated care, and transparency — all of which are extremely important to younger employees and create efficiencies throughout the healthcare journey.