Survey Shows Majority of Companies View Health Insurance Brokers & Agents as Valued Partners

Opportunities for Brokers Evident as Health Reform Takes Shape

Published: Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011 – 10:06 am

NEW YORK, July 14, 2011 — /PRNewswire/ — The importance of health insurance brokers and agents over the next three years — especially those who specialize in employee health benefits — will be increasing sharply in the eyes of middle market decision makers.   This is based on a recent survey, conducted by TNS, a world leader in market information.

According to the study, almost two-thirds (63%) of companies surveyed view their employee health insurance broker or agent as a valued partner with 33% describing them as a trusted advisor. “Our results indicate a much stronger role for brokers than one might have expected,” said William Bruno, Vice President at TNS. “One possible explanation is they fill a vital role in helping companies control the rising employee benefit costs. This is a key area that almost all (92%) of the companies surveyed identified as a concern – and one that for the vast majority (77%), say has increased in importance over the past 12 months,” said Bruno.  “On top of this, many companies have reduced their staffing in the human resources or benefits areas over the past two years, and brokers are helping to fill this void.”

While health reform may make it easier for companies to find benefit plans at more competitive prices in 2014, most companies surveyed will be relying more heavily on their broker to help them navigate through the choices offered under reform. This is evidenced by 75% of companies who think their health insurance broker will play a more important role in their relationship over the next three years.

“One of the most important insights that came from our research highlights the vast opportunity for brokers and agents to stay well ahead of the curve on detailed knowledge of health reform and related employee health care options that best fit with their clients’ needs.  For health insurers, it will be important to recognize the significant role that brokers and agents may continue to play well into the future,” said Bruno.

About TNS

TNS is the global leader in custom market research delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to clients around the globe so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 80 countries, TNS is dedicated to discovering growth opportunities for its clients in an ever-changing world.  Through its pioneering and innovative culture, TNS understands the latest marketing challenges and research techniques, being the first to discover and solve new marketing issues for clients.

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TNS:  Original Article

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