The U.S. dental and vision insurance markets look great, partly because of the Affordable Care Act.
Deborah Sternberg, president of Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Starmount Life Insurance Co., gave that assessment today in an interview.
In the group market, “we have steady growth,” Sternberg said.
In the individual market, she said, the ACA has had two types of positive effects on dental and vision sales.
The ACA individual major medical market changes that took effect in 2014 increased agents’ individual health sales, she said. Agents “see stand-alone individual dental products as a logical cross-sell product,” she said.
Now, “there’s turmoil on the major medical side,” Sternberg said. “We’ve absolutely seen an increase in the number of brokers selling our dental and vision products on the individual side.”
Producers see increasing dental and vision sales as a way to help consumers while replacing lost major medical commission revenue, Sternberg said.
Unum Group acquired Starmount in August. The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based parent company will be offering Starmount’s dental and vision products to the producers who sell traditional group benefits products in the United States under the Unum brand name.
Related: Unum completes Starmount deal
Unum will also offer Starmount products to the producers work with Unum’s Colonial Life unit, which sells individual insurance products at the worksite, through worksite marketing programs.
Unum hopes to make Starmount products available to Unum-brand producers in one half of the United States in 2017, and the other half in 2018.