Eastbridge study finds that hospital indemnity and supplemental medical products are fast growing

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (April 13, 2005)�Today we are seeing more carriers �dusting off� their hospital indemnity plans and adding various enhancements. Others are looking to develop new products that either fill in gaps left by medical plans or protect those not presently covered by a medical plan. Eastbridge�s latest spotlight report, Voluntary Supplemental Medical and Hospital Indemnity Plans 2005, is designed to help insurance carriers better understand some of these �new and/or improved� products as well as the supplement medical market in general. (This report updates Eastbridge�s 2003 report on the same subject.)

According to the study participants, a wide variety of solutions are already being tried to counteract the rise in healthcare costs�like HSAs, consumer-driven health plans, supplemental medical plans, limited benefit medical plans, etc. Perhaps that�s why new sales premium for voluntary hospital indemnity and supplemental medical products increased 55 percent in 2003.

“Over 30 percent of worksite producers surveyed in a 2004 study choose hospital indemnity/supplemental medical plans as a top five sales opportunity in the next five years,� notes Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. �Virtually every week we see a new package of benefits that producers are marketing to solve the employer and employee problems associated with medical costs. For example, some brokers are packaging hospital indemnity plans with discount drug and vision cards. Others are selling a hospital indemnity plan or supplemental medical plan packaged with a high deductible health plan and HSA.”

“There�s no doubt that the market will be fast changing,� adds Eastbridge vice president, Bonnie Brazzell. �Problems as well as opportunities will pop up fast, and the winners will be those who can be flexible and respond immediately.� Successful carriers will also make certain that their producers (and employers/employees) are well-educated on health insurance related issue and on how the new products are key to solving employer and employee needs.

The cost of the report is $2,000 for new buyers or $1,250 for those who purchased the 2003 report. For more information, contact Eastbridge at info@eastbridge.com or phone the company at (860) 676-9633. A table of contents for the report can be accessed via our website at www.eastbridge.com.

Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.