Two-thirds of insurances carriers experienced an overall increase in voluntary sales in 2015, with half of carriers reporting sales increases of 12 percent of more, according to the LIMRA U.S. Worksite Sales survey.

That marked the fifth consecutive year of increased sales across all voluntary lines. Life insurance led the growth, with an 8 percent sales increase — the largest jump since 2010. Supplemental health lines were up 4 percent.

While the news of continued growth likely surprised few brokers and industry experts, a closer look at the degree to which traditionally core benefit offerings have migrated to a completely voluntary model — in which the employee pays the entire premium — reveals some counterintuitive results, according to Kim Landry, a senior analyst of workplace benefits research at LIMRA.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.