NU Online News Service, April 13, 2005, 2:43 p.m. EDT

Workers are snapping up voluntary supplemental medical and hospital indemnity plans.[@@]

Researchers at Eastbridge Consulting Inc., Avon, Conn., have published data supporting that conclusion in a new report on voluntary supplemental medical and hospital indemnity insurance.

Hospital indemnity products pay clearly specified cash benefits to insureds who enter the hospital, and supplemental medical products include a variety of other products that fill in the gaps left by traditional health coverage.

Sales of the products were 55% higher in 2003 than they were in 2002, Eastbridge researchers write in their report.

More than 30% of the worksite producers who participated in a 2004 survey identified the market for hospital indemnity products and other medical supplement products as a top sales opportunity, the researchers write.