Players in the employee-paid insurance market have mixed feelings about the market’s performance over the next 12 months.

Researchers at Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc., Avon, Conn., have presented data exploring worksite market participants’ perceptions in their latest worksite/voluntary industry confidence index report, which is based on an informal survey conducted in July.

About 84% of the participants predicted that persistency levels and retention for voluntary business will either improve slightly percent or remain the same over the next 12 months, and that figure has changed only slightly since Eastbridge conducted its last market confidence survey, in December 2005.

But the percentage of survey participants who expect premium rates to rise has fallen to 44%, from 51%, while the percentage who expect rates to remain the same increased to 50%, from 44%.