Tag Archives: Competitive Market

Lights, Camera, ACOs!

Let’s be honest, who really enjoys going to the doctor? We all try our best to take care of ourselves and loved ones by keeping on track with preventive visits, even if we dread the experience. Time and time again we sit through the uncomfortable questions and count the minutes until the appointment is over, but why so unwillingly? Do we truly feel like we’re getting the best quality of care, or do we feel like we’re just a name on a list or a time slot on a calendar?  Our doctors should be some of the easiest people to talk to, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Doctors are often overbooked and rushing  through patient appointments,  leaving little time for bedside manner, but are they to blame for our dissatisfaction? Personally, I don’t think they’re at fault, as we expect the healthcare providers we see to value our health and wellbeing. Continue reading Lights, Camera, ACOs!

Evaluating Your Benefits Broker Relationship: 5 Important Questions to Ask

The receptionist calls to let you know that your insurance broker has arrived – it’s that time of year again – time to talk renewals. In walks the broker you’ve had for the last ten years. You exchange the usual pleasantries, but they’re ready to get right down to business. Now, don’t get me wrong, you like your broker. They are nice people and always return your calls. They resolve issues when you ask, and are glad to come out and see you once or twice a year. But is that enough? Are they really adding value to your business and to your employees? Continue reading Evaluating Your Benefits Broker Relationship: 5 Important Questions to Ask

Insurance Market Turbulence

We’re not quite in a hypercompetitive market, but we are definitely experiencing severe turbulence while effective underwriting and claims analysis is replaced by illogical market forces. The current pricing strategy employed by new entrants and Hartford mainstays, has introduced irrationality into an otherwise sophisticated underwriting approach. Our valued partners aren’t solely responsible. Compliance with the Affordable Care Act, complex funding strategies, and increased service level expectations, has led to consolidation in the broker distribution channel as well. This consolidation has left collateral damage, with some employing desperate tactics in an attempt to hang on. Here are the perspectives of three stakeholders: Continue reading Insurance Market Turbulence

Employee Benefits Brokers Must Evolve in the Face of Marginalization

I’m fascinated by my current read, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, by Jeremy Rifkin. I may not witness the complete evolution of our dependence on fossil fuels to free forms energy—wind, solar and water (by 2050 Rifkin predicts); but I can see how The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, and The Eclipse of Capitalism is rapidly revealing that companies refusing to step back and see the forest through the trees are becoming irrelevant at an unnerving pace.

Many goods and services that have historically carried significant, marginal cost are now free. Rifkin gives many examples is his latest book; on-line universities, e-books, photos, music, renewable energy, and 3D printing. All carry zero marginal cost—that is—it costs almost nothing to add one more student, publish another e-book, print another prosthesis, etc. Companies refusing to recognize this dynamic and evolve are destined for failure. I’d place traditional colleges and text book publishers as two potential candidates for irrelevancy or certainly niche status. Rifkin talks about this but he should credit me on these, I’ve been talking about both of these longer than he has. Continue reading Employee Benefits Brokers Must Evolve in the Face of Marginalization