There have long been two general categories of brokers in the benefits industry. Employee benefit brokers have traditionally focused on advising employers on their health care plan and other employer-paid programs, while voluntary brokers have focused on payroll-deducted benefits. The product portfolio for these two broker groups was once so distinct that they might both have advised the same client because of little to no competition between them.

Over time, however, the increased demand for voluntary programs by employers and employees has blurred the lines between these two broker groups, as employee benefit brokers expand their portfolio in response to the demand. In fact, more than three-quarters of employee benefit brokers participating in the 2017 Eastbridge/BenefitsPRO Broker Survey rated competition for voluntary offerings from “average” to “high.” This is in stark contrast to the days when this group had little or no interest in selling voluntary.

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