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Eastbridge: Group Health Shift May Change Voluntary Market

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The rise of health savings accounts and other account-based plans could increase demand for some types of employee-paid products sold at the worksite.

Researchers at Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc., Avon, Conn., have published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of a recent survey of insurers that sell “voluntary,” or employee-paid, benefits at the worksite.

The HSA law itself permits HSA holders to use account assets to pay for long term care insurance. About 39% of voluntary insurers now believe that the HSA LTC provision will increase LTC insurance sales, up from 24% in 2004.

About 60% expect hospital indemnity plans, supplemental medical products and limited-benefit medical plans to increase, up from 44% in 2004, according to Eastbridge researchers.

The researchers also found that 35% of survey participants expect limited-benefit medical plans to be a growth product in the voluntary market in the next few years.