Aetna will acquire Humana for a reported $37 Billion. The newly combined company will have more than 33 million members.
This huge deal follows other proposed or rumored moves to merge or consolidate by U.S. health insurance companies, such as: Anthem’s interested in buying Cigna, and UnitedHealth’s previously reported interest in buying either Aetna or Humana. Many fear that these consolidations will result in fewer health carriers with much greater power. Basically, fewer insurers with more clout could raise premiums and reduce the number of doctors and hospitals in network coverage plans.
The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare has been a mixed blessing for the health insurance industry. It's created more business for major insurers because more Americans now have health coverage; however many say that the law has put more pressure on health carriers to generate profits.
So how does this industry consolidation this impact insurance agents and brokers?
Obamacare had already impacted the Life and Health Insurance broker community, now as industry consolidating occurs fewer solutions exist for brokers and their clients. Making matters more complex (if not dire) are reports that Aetna is considering a plan to eliminate commissions built into group health plan premiums. Of course, we’ve already seen many agencies and agents move (or attempt to move) towards collecting “consulting fees” from clients in lieu of commissions. Many of those agents or brokers have shared with us that this concept has not been well received amongst their clientele. Is this the future for how brokers must be compensated, billing your clients separate and apart from their policy premiums?
A result of this confusion and concern might very well be, yet another motivation to affiliate with a PEO or PEO Broker. PEO’s can provide Insurance Agents or brokers another means of addressing their client’s health care needs while providing the agent/broker with a reoccurring revenue stream. For more information on how a PEO can solve many of your client’s employee administration and health care needs please contact the LL Roberts Group at 877.878.6463 and ask one of our Professional PEO Consultants about how you can use a PEO to better serve your clients while generating commissions for you and/or your agency. To learn more about PEOs and the LL Roberts Group visit our website at www.llroberts.com. You can even talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!