Centennial, CO, August 31, 2011 – Agent’s Sales Journal and Agent Media Data, products of Summit Business Media’s Life and Health Insurance Network, announced the results of the 2011 Employee Benefits Market Study in the August issue of Agent’s Sales Journal. This year’s study is a result of a collaborative effort between Agent’s Sales Journal, Agent Media, and International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP).
“It’s clear that the reality of the impact of health care reform is beginning to sink in with both agents and the clients they serve, and they see a challenging future ahead,” said Andy Stonehouse, editor of Agent’s Sales Journal. “At the same time, they remain optimistic that sales opportunities abound as all of this dynamic change occurs.”
Highlights of the 2011 Employee Benefits Market Study include:
- Group benefits and voluntary sales are up over last year, 43% saw increases in group benefits and 53% saw an increase in voluntary sales. Agents selling in both categories expect to see better sales in 2011.
- Agents are more wary of the long-term impact of federal health care reform than they were a year ago, 47% say they believe the Affordable Care Act will harm their business. In 2010, 48% were just merely unsure about the future impact.
- In order to cut costs, 78% say employers have moved to higher-deductable health plans and 43% say their clients have shifted to consumer-driven plans.
The current impacts of health care reform include:
- Limited medical and health care plans for children are phasing out;
- Agents are shifting their resources to selling disability, supplemental, critical and long term care insurance, individual and self-funded policies, or even considering branching out into sales of annuities, life insurance or property and casualty products.
When asked what carriers can do to improve offerings, participants responded:
- 60% agreed they should offer better rate guarantees and stability
- 50% want more affordable products
- 24% think more quality leads will help agents better sell group benefits.
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Agent’s Sales Journal provides sales-oriented how-to information to help independent insurance advisors expand their life, health, and annuity practices. The magazine’s ongoing market research program allows the editors to quickly identify and respond to readers’ needs and challenges in a rapidly changing marketplace. Comprehensive selling guides, unbiased insight from industry experts, timely feature stories, and a dynamic online presence give readers the information and ideas they need to grow their practices.
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