Benefits brokers and agents who sell voluntary accident-, illness-, and disability-related insurance products have a huge opportunity to make inroads into employer organizations, according to the 2011 Aflac WorkForces Report.

The Aflac WorkForces Report is an annual study conducted by Harris Interactive and released each year by Aflac, the number one provider of supplemental and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the U.S. Each year, the study analyzes the forces impacting the trends, attitudes and use of employee benefits. The insights are designed to help businesses make informed decisions about benefits to better protect their employees and their own bottom lines. The 2011 Report is based on an online survey of over 2,000 benefits decision-makers and over 4,000 U.S. workers.

The report notes that 77% of employers surveyed increased the employees' share of health care costs in 2010. Furthermore, 31% of employers plan to increase employees' share of health care premiums in 2011, 28% will increase co-payments, and 14% will introduce major medical plans with higher deductibles. These numbers have some important implications related to voluntary benefit plans that are able to take up some of this slack, as well as offer coverages that are not part of major medical plans.

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