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Thought Leadership — Analysis

Emerging opportunities in the voluntary market

January 2024


Benefits advisors can tap into new sales by helping employers explore new and expanded benefits plans.

New Year’s Wish List... New Year’s Resolutions We Wish Voluntary Players Would Make

January 2024


Losing weight, exercising more and saving money are perennial entries on many people’s lists of new year’s resolutions. All worthy goals, but don’t stop there.

Are takeovers part of your voluntary strategy?

December 2023


This article offers five things voluntary benefits advisors need to know to succeed in a takeover environment.

Identity Theft Insurance Offers Protection in an Increasingly Digital World

December 2023


Online shopping, cell phones and credit cards make life easier for millions of Americans but they also make it easier to fall victim to identity theft and fraud.

How good enrollments get in the way of great enrollments

November 2023


Employees give high marks overall to their voluntary benefits enrollments, but employers and theier benefits advisors may be missing opportunities to increase satisfaction and participation.

Different strokes for different folks

October 2023


Autumn is prime time for some of America’s favorite pursuits: college football, the World Series and… annual benefits enrollments.

Break with tradition

September 2023


We all have our traditions, like parades, picnics and fireworks. Or the family recipe that appears at every holiday meal, even if no one really likes it.

Big get bigger in voluntary market

July-August 2023


THE PANDEMIC IS mostly in the rearview mirror. And while it’s too soon to say we’re back to normal, research shows several major growth trends.

Nuances of the mid-size market

June 2023


YOU MAY HAVE HEARD the famous French saying, “Vive la difference,” used to express appreciation of diversity—often between men and women, sometimes between cultures and opinions.

Small business is big business

April-May 2023


IF BUILDING A bigger client base is your plan, it pays to think small. U.S. companies with 10–99 employees account for more than 90% of businesses and 30 million employees, more than any market except firms over 10,000 employees.

Matching Clients and Carriers

February-March 2023


TO PARAPHRASE AN old TV advertising campaign: When you talk, people listen.

3 questions you should ask your benefit technology partners

December/January 2023


WITH THE HOLIDAYS on hand, maybe you’d like to give your clients a great gift. As tempting as a fruit-of-the-month club membership might be, here’s a suggestion that’ll last much longer: a benefits technology partner with capabilities and services that match their needs and those of the benefits carriers you use.


Thought Leadership Archive

2022 Published Articles

Change is Good

November 2022


Same old, same old? Not when it comes to benefits. According to our The Employer Viewpoint report, more employers — 62% compared to 44% two years ago — plan to make changes in the next 12–18 months.

Decisions, decisions

October 2022


Ahh, fall. The weather is getting cooler, college football is on the field… and benefits enrollment season is right around the corner.

Big getting bigger

September 2022


If trends in voluntary sales were put to music, it would be a ballad with many verses, but a repeating refrain. We recently reported that the largest carriers continue to dominate the market, with the top 15 accounting for approximately 72% of total voluntary/worksite sales in 2021—unchanged from 2020.

Bigger isn’t always better

July/August 2022


“New and improved” is such a common marketing theme for consumer products that it’s gone beyond cliché
to become fodder for jokes and memes. Still, most companies in every industry—from laundry soap to luxury cars—are constantly looking for ways to make their products seem new and, well, improved.

Choose products by value, not price

June 2022


“You get what you pay for.” It’s a Most important factors in choosing a carrier cliché because it’s true. Whether you’re choosing a restaurant, kicking the tires of a new car or trying on shoes, a lot more goes into your decision than price.

Beyond the integration buzz

April / May 2022


If “claim integration” was a social media topic, it would be trending right now. Integration is becoming increasingly common and is creating a lot of buzz in claims practices these days. According to recent Eastbridge Consulting Group research, a majority of carriers offer some type of claim integration service between medical, traditional group and voluntary product lines.

Let’s talk enrollment

February / March 2022


You've heard the saying about a tree falling in the forest when nobody’s there to hear it. Let’s apply that to benefits enrollment: If you wow your client with a comprehensive and affordable benefits package, but few employees sign up, is the benefits program a success?

See it my way: Why it pays to take the employee view of benefits

January 2022


Voluntary benefits are an increasingly important part of a competitive benefits program. But let’s be honest, compared to major medical and other group benefits, voluntary sometimes requires a little more work to make it, well, work.

2021 Published Articles

Voluntary portfolios continue to expand: Are you up to speed?

December 2021 / January 2022


The diversity of products offered atworksites continues to expand. While traditional life, disability and even supplemental health products are now mainstays in most brokers’ voluntary portfolios, “non-traditional” products like identity protection, pet insurance and legal plans are also now more commonly offered, desired and owned. More than 70% of brokers today regularly sell one or more non-traditional products, and between half and almost three-quarters offer identity theft protection.

Voluntary claims integration: Beyond the buzzword

November 2021


The concept of voluntary benefit claims integration is generating a lot of buzz. More carriers are offering it, employers are seeking it, but what does it mean? And what do brokers need to be aware of as they discuss it with clients?

Entering enrollment season: What have we learned from 2020?

October 2021


As we enter the peak season for voluntary benefits enrollments, it’s natural to wonder what to expect, given the continued disruption from the pandemic. What methods and communication/ education campaigns will be most effective for employees as we evolve into a diverse mix of in-person and virtual enrollment scenarios in the workplace?

COVID-19’s impact on voluntary sales: Part 3

September 2021


This is the last in our series on voluntary sales results for 2020. The first article looked at overall sales for the year, while the second reviewed sales by product line and platform. This column spotlights distribution segments.

COVID-19's impact on voluntary sales, part 2

July/August 2021


IN A PREVIOUS column, we reported that voluntary new business annualized premium (sales) for 2020 was $7.463 billion, down 15.5% over 2019 sales. This article highlights sales by product line and platform.

Stuck in the middle?

May/June 2021


IT’S COMMON FOR benefits professionals to reference all the nuances between the large and small ends of the voluntary market. The number of carriers used per enrollment and the top products offered are just a couple of the easily discernible aspects of these market segments. However, the mid-market (employers with between 100-999 employees) is a distinct segment with particular preferences and characteristics.

Voluntary products in a COVID-19 world

Plot Points, March–April 2021


AS COVID-19 CONTINUES to change the benefits landscape, employers anticipate continuing to make changes to their benefits packages. Eastbridge research found that, as a result of COVID-19 changes, almost a third of employers—a percentage similar to that reported in 2018—are planning to add new voluntary benefits and/or move employer-paid products to voluntary this year.

Engagement is key to achieving good participation

Plot Points, January–February 2021


PARTICIPATION RATES FOR voluntary Most important factors limiting participation products have been stable in 2020, according to a survey of voluntary carriers. And although this survey preceded the results of the fourth quarter of 2020, the findings are still useful.



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