Annualized premium revenue from new U.S. group disability insurance sales increased 14% between 2015 and 2016, to more than $2.3 billion, according to Milliman Inc. 

Sales of short-term disability insurance increased 12%, to more than $858 million. 

Sales of long-term disability insurance rose 14%, to more than $1.4 billion.

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Analysts in a Portland, Maine-based office of Milliman, an actuarial firm, have reported those figures in a summary of results from a survey of 20 group disability issuers.

The analysts believe the survey participants account for more than 85% of U.S. group disability premium revenue, according to Milliman.

The participating companies said they generated about $4.2 billion in short-term disability insurance revenue from in-force plans and $10 billion in long-term disability insurance revenue from in-force plans in 2016.

Revenue for in-force short-term disability plans increased 6.4%, and revenue for in-force long-term disability plans increased 5.1%.

The total number of people protected against loss of the ability to earn an income increased 4.2% for short-term disability insurance and 2.4% for long-term disability insurance.

Aetna Inc. and MetLife Inc. were two large disability insurance issuers that reported short-term disability insurance in-force premium growth over 10%. Aetna reported 18% growth, and MetLife reported 11% growth.

Liberty Mutual is an example of a large disability insurance player that reported double-digit growth in long-term disability in-force premium revenue. Its premium revenue in that market grew 12%.

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