The voluntary benefits industry has lost market penetration in the past 4 years but has seen strong gains in some products, according to a new report.
Overall, the worksite marketing industry has received an overall grade of C plus for its progress, according to LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn., which issued the report, “Voluntary Benefits Report Card.”
Overall market penetration has fallen, with 47% of firms offering no voluntary benefits in 2006, up from 36% in 2002.
Among businesses aware of voluntary benefits but not currently offering them, just 30% said they would likely or possibly add such benefits in the next 2 years–down from 37% in 2002.
On the plus side, the number of firms offering at least 6 voluntary benefits rose by 45%, LIMRA found, while overall satisfaction of firms with worksite products rose from 64% to 73%.
The most popular voluntary products were cancer insurance (offered by 29% of firms, up from 22%); accident (24%, up from 18%); supplemental medical (20%, up from 18%); and short term disability (20%, up from 16%).
Supplemental life insurance took the biggest hit since 2002, with its share declining to 15%, from 22%.
The most uncommon voluntary benefit included on the LIMRA penetration list was limited-benefit medical, also known as mini-med plans. Only 3% of employers offered these plans in 2006. (In 2002, the product was not included in the survey.)
The top voluntary products being considered in the next 2 years, according to employers surveyed, were dental (still tops at 17%, although down from 21% of employers in 2002); vision (13%, down from 16%); and supplemental medical (12%, up from 5%).