Insurance carriers, administrators and brokers think employees are getting used to the idea of paying for their own insurance products at the worksite.

About 91% of 63 voluntary benefits organizations surveyed believe the number of new groups they acquire this year will increase, and 43% predict the number will “increase a lot,” according to Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc., Avon, Conn.

Firm researchers found that 95% of survey participants expect sales of voluntary products to increase over the next 12 months, and 37% expect sales to “increase a lot.”

Participants were not as confident about overall industry profitability, but 77% said they expect profits at their own companies’ voluntary benefits operations to be a little more profitable or much more profitable, according to Eastbridge.