As a health insurance advisor acting as an intermediary between employers and health insurers, one of our primary roles is to constantly assess the viability and product portfolio of the various local and national insurers to pair with our clients. And it’s a very tricky job. Each carrier has a unique value proposition and focus that is in a constant state of evolution. We do our very best to be honest and conscientious and to place the right carrier and product with the right client.

Viewpoints from Adam Okun

One of the carriers we’ve had less success with in the middle market over the last several years has been Empire BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS).

BCBS, a subsidiary of Anthem, has always had a storied reputation in the market along with a vast network. But their focus seemed to be predominantly on the large group space with several stumbles in sales and service in the middle market segment.

It appears a new day may be dawning upon us as a recent personnel reshuffle and a renewed commitment to the middle market has Empire chomping at the bit on new business opportunities; with a renewed spirit of partnership.

Alan Murray (formerly of CareConnect) was recently appointed President of Empire and he’s been enthusiastically involved in the sales process – at times, even reaching out to junior analysts on the brokerage side to explore opportunities for partnership.

It’s still early, but having another strong, viable carrier in the middle market will certainly benefit our clients and the broader market segment.

Not to mention, it will raise the playing field for our other major partners – UnitedHealthcare, Cigna and Aetna – who have continued growing in this segment as Empire declined. We are very optimistic about this development.

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Adam Okun

Northeast Region Employee Benefits Practice Leader – New York, NY