BY ALLISON BELL
Photo © Bill Coffin; Shutterstock.com/Sean Gladwell
The financial seas are looking pretty
rough out there. Sales heave up and down,
CNBC is a howling gale of bad news, and Greece
keeps banging about the economy like a loose tackle
locker. Amid the maelstrom, the traditional major medi-
cal plan is taking on water in a bad way, which is forcing
employers and their benefits advisors to offer storm-tossed
workers a menu of voluntary benefits that might be money
wasters – or might be personal financial flotation devices.
Meanwhile, the health insurers are throwing agents and brokers
overboard, and wholesalers and consumers are telling the pro-
ducers to swim toward voluntary benefits market for safety.
In place of the stability that came with selling expensive, must-
have major medical coverage, those producers are trying to cobble
together an income life raft by selling supplemental life insurance,
supplemental disability insurance, voluntary dental insurance, vol-
untary dental benefits, cancer insurance, critical illness insur-
ance, hospital indemnity insurance, and other products and
programs that may not even have existed a few years back.
The storm is not yet over, and the big question
on everyone’s mind right about now is this: will
voluntary benefits keep everyone’s practice
afloat, or will this voluntary strategy
spring holes of their own?