Brokers still bullish on voluntaryNews added by Benefits Pro on October 3, 2013
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By Kathryn Mayer

Ask any industry insider, and they’ll tell you voluntary products are big.

And next year, according to a new report, they’ll be even bigger.

Eastbridge Consulting Group says voluntary sales will boom next year, with about 90 percent of respondents in the group’s mid-year 2013 Voluntary Industry Confidence Index survey saying they expect sales to increase in the next 12 months.

The report’s overall Confidence Index increased to 102, up from 99 at year-end 2012 and 100.9 at mid-year 2012, “indicating that confidence in the worksite/voluntary industry’s future continues to be positive,” Eastbridge said.

“Respondents continue to be optimistic about the voluntary/worksite industry’s capacity to grow their voluntary business,” Eastbridge President Gil Lowerre said.

The overall mean (with a scale of 1 to 5) was up significantly in the latest survey (4.12 from 3.99) because there was a large increase in those expecting sales to ‘increase a lot.’ That number jumped from 13 percent in the year-end 2012 survey to 31 percent in the latest one.

Brokers remain especially confident in increasing voluntary sales, Lowerre said

“Almost half are expecting sales to ‘increase a lot,’” he said.

More and more brokers are turning to voluntary sales as a way to help lost commissions due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

That explains why a large percentage of survey respondents (70 percent) said they expect PPACA to have “some” or a “major positive impact” on voluntary sales.

Eastbridge’s report is conducted semi-annually and includes responses from individuals active in the market—carriers, brokers and vendors.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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