3 Thoughts From Anthem's Disability Boss

Disability Insurance Awareness Month continues

Mike Wozny (Photo: Anthem) Mike Wozny (Photo: Anthem)

Mike Wozny backed the latest Disability Insurance Awareness Month campaign earlier this month by giving ThinkAdvisor Life/Health an interview about the state of the U.S. group disability insurance market.

Wozny is the president of Anthem Life Insurance Co., a unit of Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc., one of the biggest health insurers in the United States.

(Related: Anthem Group Disability Exec: The Oxygen Is Back)

Anthem Life is a major provider of personal protection products in its own right. It ended the first quarter with 4.7 million people in its group life insurance and disability plans. Many of Anthem's life and disability plan sponsors use its health coverage. The company let unprofitable fully insured small-group plans fall of its books. That led to a 0.3% drop in life and disability enrollment.

Wozny said that, overall, in spite of the slight drop in small-group plan enrollment, the market for group life and group disability has been pretty good.

The unemployment is lower and salaries are higher, Wozny said.

Here are three more views Wozny shared about the disability market.

1. The new focus on supplemental health insurance benefits of all kinds probably helps disability insurance sales.

Marketing campaigns for voluntary benefits products, in particular, are enhancing the visibility of all benefits products, Wozny said.

2. Employers are more interested in the connection between acute health care problems and disability risk.

"We get more and more people interested in our products all the time due to integration" between health and disability, Wozny said.

3. Millennials care about more than pet insurance and gourmet coffee discount programs.

"Millennials are gravitating toward more traditional benefits, including disability," Wozny said. "They're aging. They're getting more responsibility."

Millennials seem to be more open than members of earlier generations to talking to financial advisors and considering income protection programs, Wozny said.

--- Read Individual Disability Insurance Sales Were Stable in 2016 on ThinkAdvisor. 

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