A key measure of consumer confidence in providers of voluntary worksite products edged up during the year past.
So reports Eastbridge Consulting Group in its Voluntary Industry Confidence Index, which increased in 2013 to 102.9 at year-end, from 102 at mid-year 2013 and 99.0 at year-end 2012. The index score is the highest recorded since the first survey was completed in December of 2005.
“Despite all the changes we’ve seen due to health care reform and the thrust into private exchanges, the majority of key players in the industry — carriers and brokers are still optimistic about the voluntary industry,” says Bonnie Brazzell, vice president of Eastbridge. “The industry appears to see the value in voluntary given the changes in the benefits environment, and the public is responding positively by purchasing voluntary products as indicated by the positive sales growth seen over the past six months.”
The index is calculated using three key expectation measures about the voluntary industry — sales growth, profitability and employee enthusiasm about voluntary products. For this survey, two of these key measures, sales growth and employee enthusiasm, showed significant increases while profitability remained relatively unchanged.
An overwhelming majority of respondents (94 percent) believe that sales of voluntary in the next 12 months will increase. This is an increase from 89 percent in the mid-year 2013 survey and from 90 percent in the year-end 2012 survey.