Voluntary stakeholders take stock of 2016 benefitspro binary code translator to english


While the official 2016 voluntary benefits market sales numbers won’t be calculated until next year, anecdotal evidence from brokers, consultants and analysts suggests another strong year of growth.

To that end, we reached out to several stakeholders with various roles in the market binary hex converter. All have high expectations for next year. And all see continued momentum for consumer-driven workplace trends.

Here are some impressions on the past year and future from a diverse representation of industry players — voluntary specialists, a traditional broker, a voluntary market analytics provider, a consultant, a benefits disrupter and an industry analyst.

“The voluntary market experienced steady growth in 2016, with total voluntary sales up 8 percent year-to-date as of the end of September. This success was shared across product lines, with almost all life and health products increasing over last year.

We have seen steady year-over-year increases in sales for the past five years, and expect that this trend will continue into next year.

“For 2017, we expect to see continued focus on critical illness, accident and other supplemental health products as carriers expand their offerings in this area usd to aud converter. However, employers will experience greater uncertainty about possible changes to or repeal of the Affordable Care Act — and, as a result, they may be hesitant to make changes or additions to their own benefits packages until this is clarified. On the enrollment front, we will continue to see shifts toward electronic enrollment as well as the introduction of more education and decision-support tools helps employees learn about their benefits.”

“We finished the year with an extremely strong fourth quarter, signing up 25 new groups in the last three months, almost all of which were replacement cases that had voluntary programs in place.

“That tells me that employers are taking a paternalistic approach to the voluntary benefits they offer. Voluntary products have traditionally been a ‘conceptual sale,’ but that has changed best used bookstores nyc. It has now become a pricing and product sale. Employers are saying ‘we need to introduce something better for the employee’ — that mindset marks the biggest way the industry has changed in the past five years.

“We’re expecting a strong 2017. But the market has become increasingly competitive binary file download. There are more carriers in the voluntary market, and they’re competing more than ever for business. That gives us the chance to compete on pricing, which is clearly to employers’ and employees’ advantages — but also means the competition among brokers is intense.

“It’s so intense, in fact, that we can’t ever afford to go into an employer without the best product for that group — there are always three or four brokers behind us competing for the business. If you’re not putting your best foot forward, you are easily exposed.”

“2016 was another positive year for voluntary benefits. While sales numbers for the year will not be tallied until late spring, there were other indicators of continued growth and market health cad to usd converter. For example, we saw an increase in voluntary sales productivity among active employee benefits brokers and producers. We also saw strong employer interest in integrating their voluntary benefits and existing benefit administration systems — a further signal that voluntary programs, particularly in the eyes of the employer, are becoming a foundational element in benefit offerings.

“In 2017, we expect this momentum to continue. Our research on employer-related trends and attitudes found increased interest in adding a new voluntary benefit in the coming year. In terms of product development, Eastbridge research is hinting at an influx of new hospital indemnity programs to the market in 2017, but with an eye of caution python xml. In light of the election results and possible legislative developments on the horizon, more carriers may choose a wait-and-see approach before launching any new gap-type plans decimal worksheets. Undoubtedly, it will be a year of unknowns and change — and one that Eastbridge will continually monitor and research.”

“I think 2016 as a whole will be historically viewed as the year of initial major benefits market disruption that led to unparalleled agent and broker discomfort. The bottom line is our industry is being forced to innovate.

“Let’s face it — 2016 was a crazy year in the benefits world. We started with the rise and then out-of-control spiral of Zenefits and all the good and bad that came with that gbp usd bloomberg. And, of course, there was the world’s biggest political reality drama that was the presidential election.

“But no matter what emerges from Congress, I strongly believe 2017 is going to be a record-breaking year for the employee-funded enhanced benefits space — or the industry formally known as ‘voluntary benefits.’

“Continued threats to repeal and replace the ACA will continue to drive employers to pass more benefits expenses onto their employers as consumer-driven models continue to grow.

“I’m also extremely passionate about changing the mindset of the vast majority of employers and HR departments who still believe that old fashioned ‘major medical’ health insurance is the most important piece that will "save the day" and that the enhanced benefits portion is simply an ‘ancillary’ non-vital add-on.

“I also think we’ll see more and more traditional health brokers have lightbulb moments in 2017, whereby they realize that enhanced benefits are no longer the unimportant add-on they’ve always been viewed as. We’ll see more brokers buy into the value of voluntary. That will naturally trickle down to affect the mindsets of the decision makers we covet.”

“I’m extremely optimistic for 2017. I’m expecting it to be one of the better years on record for the voluntary market usd to ringgit. The change in the country’s political future is going to help, as more people start hiring and wages go up. That will help the benefits market, but I’ve also seen the voluntary market surge in down cycles. I launched this company in 2009 during the worst economic cycle we’ve seen in a while. It didn’t slow us down a bit.

“We have more business lined up for 2017 than we have ever had going into a new year. As more employers are pulling back on major medical, we’ve been able to enter spaces that weren’t available to us in the past. Employers are definitely taking a closer look at value of each benefit they offer, and more are definitely moving to providing a given dollar amount to employees with a menu of benefit options that their workforce can choose from.

“I think the ancillary market, where carriers rate and price products based on the experience of the group in a given employer, is going to slow down famous quotes about life. That momentum will transfer to voluntary worksite products, which are rated and priced on a statewide basis.”