Carriers participating in Eastbridge’s Voluntary Short-Term Disability Products Spotlight™ Report mentioned the long- and short-term effects of COVID-19 as a key area of concern. They are monitoring potential health impacts to their VSTD plans, including the potential for claims increases, and lowered participation from increased self-service enrollments for a complex product.
This report profiles 25 voluntary short-term disability (VSTD) products for 23 carriers active in the voluntary/worksite market. This information is designed to help carriers better understand the short-term disability voluntary/worksite marketplace and to evaluate the competitiveness of their own VSTD product offering.
THIS IS THE last in our series of columns on the voluntary industry sales results
for 2019. The ﬁrst article looked at overall voluntary sales for the year, while the second reviewed sales by product line and platform. This column spotlights sales by distribution segment.
IN LAST MONTH’S column, we reported that voluntary new business annualized premium (sales) for 2019 was $8.832 billion, up 4.5% over 2018 sales. This article highlights sales by product line and platform.
ACCORDING TO OUR annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report, new business annualized premium (voluntary sales) increased again last year. Total sales for 2019 were $8.832 billion, up 4.5% over 2018 sales. The top graph below shows the industry’s sales since 1997.
AS COVID-19 CONTINUES to have far-reaching impacts on the workforce and in turn, the employee beneﬁts landscape, brokers are concerned about the effects it will have on voluntary beneﬁts. Eastbridge’s recent survey of brokers found that the top concern for voluntary was a potential for reduced enrollment volume, with 71% of brokers agreeing this was of concern. Around half of brokers expressed concern that employer and/or employee interest in voluntary may be reduced, while one-third felt that COVID-19 may divert their time towards answering coverage questions on existing business.
EMPLOYERS CONTINUE TO promote wellness programs and beneﬁts as an integral part of their overall beneﬁts strategies to encourage employees to adopt healthy behaviors and to reduce long-term health care costs. In addition to employee wellness programs (e.g., weight loss, tobacco-cessation), wellness beneﬁts are commonly offered with today’s voluntary supplemental health products to encourage employees to receive preventative health screenings.