If you’re in the Employee Benefits industry, you know things are changing a LOT faster today than they did a decade ago.
The (above) average health insurance broker is dealing with a mix of issues: commissions vs. consultant fees, Medicare For All, constant legislation and compliance changes, growing your business and building your pipeline, changing technology, self-funding, voluntary benefits, cost-containment, consumerism, shifting employee populations, new benefit plan products and ideas, etc. With all that, it’s important to keep learning and stay connected.
To help, here’s my list of employee benefits experts you should follow this year…
1. Kevin Trokey, Founding Partner at Q4i
Why you should follow: Kevin is an insurance industry antagonist and champion all wrapped in one.
What you’ll get: A proper mix of witty antagonism, quotes, rich insight and he’ll challenge you to be better at what you do. This guy knows how agencies work and how to get solid growth.
2. Eric Bricker, Internist & Chief Medical Officer at AhealthcareZ.com, Former Chief Medical Officer at Compass Professional Health Services
Why you should follow: He helps make sense of the $600B spent on employee healthcare and he’s spent his entire career learning it from every angle.
What you’ll get: Dr. Bricker had a very successful blog at Compass Professional Health Services and he’s transitioned to a video blog for Insurance Brokers and HR. One viewer said, “every single person in the U.S. needs to see these – EVERY single one.”
3. Bret Brummitt, Partner & Senior Consultant, AG Insurance Agencies
Why you should follow: He’s a doer, deep thinker, and tour guide for those on the journey to fix healthcare.
What you’ll get: A great mix of topics and ideas with his cerebral and philosophical spin. You’ll get a peek into how an employee benefits consultant should “do social media.” Don’t take it from me…he was also awarded Employee Benefit Adviser’s Technology Adviser of the Year!
4. David Saltzman, Chief Transformation Strategist, The Saltzman Group and Host of The ShiftShapers Podcast
Why you should follow: He’s a transformation strategist and thought leader with more than 35 years experience in the retail, wholesale, technology and administrative insurance arenas.
What you’ll get: David produces and hosts the highly acclaimed weekly ShiftShapers podcast, which showcases industry leaders who are taking the transformative shifts in the insurance and employee benefits industry and shaping them into new business models, products and best practices. The podcast reaches nearly 10,000 insurance professionals and I try never to miss one!
5. Paul Wilson, Editor-In-Chief, BenefitsPRO.com & BenefitsPRO magazine
Why you should follow: He’s the king of content for the leading industry resource focused on benefits brokers, agents and consultants.
What you’ll get: You’ll see all the great BenefitsPRO articles come across your feed – as well as curated content from other sources that he accurately deems interesting/helpful. Plus, he might tag you and ask a question that could be featured in an upcoming piece.
6. Wendy Keneipp, Partner at Q4i
Why you should follow: Wendy is calling BS on insurance agency "best practices" with the goal of transforming insurance agencies into feared competitors.
What you’ll get: Tough love for your marketing, sales processes, and overall agency health. She’s brilliant and entertaining at the same time, which is not a mix you’ll often find in this industry.
7. Janet Trautwein, CEO at National Association of Health Underwriters
Why you should follow: She knows her $#|t! She has spent 21+ years as head of the leading association for health insurance brokers. She knows every legislator on both sides of the aisle, and they all ask for her advice. Janet is considered an expert in health insurance markets and health plans of all sizes and frequently testifies before Congress on these issues.
What you’ll get: Legislative brilliance. Behind-the-scenes insight into how the American legislative process works – and how it impacts us in the employee benefits space.
8. Brian Klepper, Executive Analyst and Editor at The Health Value Institute
Why you should follow: He has deep roots in healthcare and benefits – and is focused on how employers and brokers can squeeze the most value out of employee benefits.
What you’ll get: Ideas that deliver better health outcomes and/or lower cost than conventional approaches. Ask to be added to his Healthcare Benefits Hackers Google Group to get insight into all things healthcare, insurance and benefits from multiple industry experts (get ready to receive some emails, and snarky commentary from the group members is an added bonus).
9. Adam Russo, Co-founder and CEO at The Phia Group, LLC
Why you should follow: This guy is the boss of self-funding and cost containment administration techniques – he’s also the next board chairman of the Self Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA).
What you’ll get: Strategies for innovative and successful self-funded plan design, as well as consistent perspective on hot issues in self-funding and employee benefits.
10. Eric Silverman, Founder at Voluntary Disruption & Silverman Benefits Group
Why you should follow: He’s considered one of the most recognized authorities and disruptive forces in enhanced employee funded benefits – or as he likes to say, “the industry formerly known as ‘voluntary.’” Plus, he’s a monthly contributor and speaker at most major benefits industry magazines and events.
What you’ll get: Eric is a great content curator, so you’ll see consistent wisdom from around our industry. Oh, and you’ll love his videos. Plus, knowing the theme for ever day of the year (thanks to Eric, I know when National Pancake Day is)!
11. David Contorno, Founder at E Powered Benefits
Why you should follow: He’s one of the most sought-after speakers in the industry and has some revolutionary ideas about strategic, yet practical benefit plan design. His ideas appear to buck all industry trends, but he has many clients and other brokers that testify to the positive impact these strategies have on employees and employers.
What you’ll get: A great mix of industry content with his raw and honest commentary, so hold on...there are no holds barred with David.
12. Reid Rasmussen, CEO & Co-Founder at freshbenies
Why you should follow: Reid is 25-year healthcare veteran and free-market health reform advocate. He’s an ex-Canadian with deep knowledge in healthcare and insurance across both countries who speaks at industry events about the need for healthcare consumerism in the U.S. Did I mention he’s really smart, really cute and the BEST husband?
What you’ll get: A mix of content from around the employee benefits industry, with a focus on cost-containment and consumerism strategies. As a four-timer on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies, you’ll also see great content about successful entrepreneurship.