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8 of the top trends, tips and issues to think about and take with you into the new year’s new opportunities.

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It’s almost a new year and this Q4 storm has been monumental. We’re further down the ACA timeline, but there are many changes still to be implemented, and new legislation being introduced that you’ll need to monitor closely to keep your business compliant and sound. We’ve gathered eight of the top trends, tips and issues to think about and take with you into the new year’s new opportunities.

ACA Updates

How Does the Budget Agreement Affect the ACA

On December 21, President Obama signed the omnibus spending bill, a piece of legislation that included an extra two year delay for the upcoming Cadillac tax milestone. HealthAffairs examines how the spending bill will affect the ACA, exploring in-depth the Cadillac tax delay, medical device tax, and how the Risk Corridor will be affected by this legislation. You can also read more in our post about the Risk Corridor shortfall.

Why the Number of Employees Matters

The ACA times has an easy-to-navigate resource about the guidelines about the Shared Responsibility and the Reporting Requirement provisions for employers. Be sure to view our in-depth post regarding preparation for the 51+ transition in 2016.

PPACA Insurance Not Ideal for Median Income Households

According to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Obamacare may need to be fine-tuned if it is to truly offer affordable insurance. Despite PPACA subsidies, those with incomes between 300 and 400 percent above the federal poverty line are facing very high expenditures.

Brokerage Growth

7 Insurance Agency Trends That Will Get You to 2017

Here’s an inspiring article by Kevin Trokey from Q4 Intel. Trokey leads with a charming Back to the Future reference and continues on to highlight many of the current and future pain points brokers have been concerned with due to the industry changes. Best of all, he offers full, well-thought-out solutions you can implement today for each point.

The High Cost of Insurance Agency Fears

And while we’re at it, here’s another sharp post by Trokey that concerns brokerage leadership. This post offers a logical exploration of the fears brought about by the industry changes, how those fears are acting as roadblocks to development, and how you can deal with those roadblocks to transform your bottom line.

Six Examples of Interesting Content From ‘Boring’ Businesses

Unum is featured in this list for their innovative approach to branding and presenting content about a topic that many Americans consider uncomfortable. However, all six of these examples are useful inspiration if your brokerage is venturing into developing original content.

Industry Happenings

The Uber of Insurance

InsNerds.com writer Tony Canas, who speaks regularly about Millennials and the insurance industry, has gathered and written about seven of the major tech ideas looking to disrupt the industry as a whole, both nationally and internationally. At the number one spot sits Zenefits, but other disruptive ideas that aren’t included in his list are Limelight Health, CoverHound, Clover, Oscar, and Lemonade. Staying knowledgeable about the landscape will help you stay prepared.

 

Selling Without a License

LifeHealthPro discusses the ethical issue of Zenefits’ controversial Insurance sales by unlicensed employees. The SF Business Times’ Chris Rauber points out in a separate article that in the state of Washington Zenefits’ actions count as a class B felony, with a penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation.