Changes are happening fast in our industry. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is affecting everything, and the way benefits are purchased is changing, too. More and more employers are finding it beneficial to shift benefit choices to their employees, thus making the benefits employees choose more meaningful and attractive. Increasingly, employers enable benefits rather than providing them.

So what products do employees choose? Where do employees go to learn more when making purchasing decisions? For many, their choice depends on their own personal and financial situation. Let's consider the top five voluntary benefits purchased in 2013, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group: life insurance, disability, dental, accident and critical illness/cancer insurance.

We know why life and disability income protection are at the top — they're part of the basics of financial protection. Dental is paired with medical in the minds of employees, and dental products are becoming more "voluntary" as many employers have migrated dental in the voluntary category instead of employer paid. Dental also ranks high in premium per certificate.

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