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As another open-enrollment season winds down, the market remains bullish on voluntary benefits. According to Eastbridge Consulting Group, voluntary sales grew from 2015 to 2016, with dental, hospital indemnity, and life and disability being among the most popular categories. And the growth is expected to be consistent in the year ahead. As a small group broker, are you ready to meet the demand and discuss voluntary benefits with your clients?

There is a large gap in the voluntary benefits offerings of large and small firms: among large firms, 97 percent offer dental benefits and 82 percent offer vision benefits. For small business with less than 100 employees, this number is dramatically lower, with 30 percent offering dental benefits, 17 percent offering vision benefits, and 40 percent offering life insurance. Similarly, only 47 percent of brokers offer dental, 34 percent of brokers offer vision, and 38 percent offer life insurance. The fact is, voluntary benefits are not well understood in the small group market, yet offer an undeniable opportunity for brokers to fill coverage gaps left by small group health plans and serve their clients better.

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