I think it is interesting that so many producers are spending more time planning their family vacations then they are planning for 2014. The old insurance adage of “most don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan” couldn’t be more true. With change being inevitable, the lack of planning is interesting. In conversations with brokers, agents, and even OCI’s peers around the nation, one thing seems sure, a wait and see approach is the norm. Here at OCI, we have taken a different approach. We have begun the planning process to implement new strategies that we think are necessary for success in the coming years. These include products and services that will allow our partners to be ahead of the curve. Products like Convenient Care Plus which has the potential to revolutionize the small group benefit market. Services such as payroll (broker driven), HR, and of course OPEN, our private exchange will allow our partners to find the right solution for each of their clients. Even if our view of the future is slightly skewed, these products and services are still attractive and useful to your clients. But if we are inline as to the future, these items are absolutely necessary for your survival. As these products and services gain momentum in the marketplace, our relationship with our partners will grow deeper. OCI’s future growth is going vertical not horizontal. This means we will help our true partners expand and grow by providing these products and services on a more limited basis. The days of signing up any broker who could “fog a mirror” are over. OCI’s goal is to provide our partners an advantage over their competition that allows them to flourish in the upcoming environment. Who are our partners you ask? These are the ones who look for ways to help us grow. These are the ones who bring us new ideas and seek out win-win scenarios. And especially, these are the ones who work hard, take care of their clients, and understand that carriers are not the enemy but truly want a positive relationship. As we start the process of narrowing our distribution, I would ask that you review your business model and determine if you are an OCI stakeholder or just a user. I can assure you, no one likes being used. If you aren’t sure, give me a call and let’s discuss. I want everyone to succeed in the coming years but as a realist, I know only some will rise to the occasion. For those of you who are our valuable partners, hold on, we are going to have fun and tremendous success and by the way, thank you for your trust.