Voluntary products aren't going anywhere but up: New research from Eastbridge Consulting Group finds that 77 percent of employers with 10 or more employees offer at least one voluntary product. That's an 11 point jump from 2009.

"We are excited, though not surprised, to see the continued growth of voluntary among employers," says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge.  Though the largest increase occurred in the small employer category (10-100 employees), all employer size categories showed at least a small increase in the percentage offering voluntary, Lowerre says.

"It is interesting that while the largest increase in employers adding voluntary for the first time occurred in the small employer market, it is still the market with the lowest overall penetration," says Bonnie Brazzell, Eastbridge vice president. About three-quarters (76 percent) of employers with 10-100 employees offer at least one voluntary plan as compared to 88 percent of those in the 101-500 employee category.

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