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2017: A look back and a look ahead

By: Alex Moral, President, Trustmark Voluntary Benefit Solutions

With the New Year just around the corner, many people are reflecting on the year past and making resolutions for the year to come. So, in that spirit, I thought I’d do the same when it comes to Trustmark and the world of voluntary benefits.

A look back at 2017

The voluntary benefits industry is shaped in large part by what’s going on in the market and the world at large. This year was a bit of a turbulent one which, in many ways, reinforces the importance of voluntary benefits. From the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act to proposals for tax reform, there’s a lot of potential for change in our future. In these circumstances, the stability, permanency and security of voluntary benefits has become all that much more important. 

This year also had its share of natural disasters with extremely powerful hurricanes and devastating fires. While this has a more obvious effect on the property and casualty industry, the loss of life and injuries certainly reinforce the importance of the voluntary benefits we offer. 

In this environment, the one word that comes to mind when looking back at the voluntary industry in 2017 is “steady”. According to LIMRA, through the third quarter, the voluntary market had grown by 6 percent compared to 2016.1 As more and more consumers are facing changes and realizing the gaps in their health insurance, the importance of voluntary benefits continues to come to the fore, leading to steady growth in the industry. 

Here at Trustmark we’ve experienced that steady growth, as well. We haven’t quite matched the growth of the market as a whole, but we’re certainly proud of our achievements and optimistic about what’s to come. Growing isn’t without its challenges, however, and we’re constantly looking at ways to improve our service and product solutions to accommodate this growth. I’m proud of the way our team has responded to these challenges and feel confident about our ability to meet them going forward.

A look ahead to 2018

Many of the trends for 2018  have already been well covered. So, instead, I’ll look at what I think it will take to make 2018 a successful year in the industry and here at Trustmark. First and foremost, I think it’s important to avoid complacency. We should never take the growth of our industry for granted. Success will come from continuing to work diligently to reach employers and their employees, listening to understand their needs and then providing solutions to those needs.

On that same note, I’d encourage everyone in the industry to never stop innovating. The evolving insurance market will bring new and unforeseen challenges and the best way to meet those challenges is by thinking creatively and trying to find new ways to meet the needs of customers. At Trustmark, we believe the path forward is by listening to the voice of our customers and using that insight to develop solutions for our broker partners, for employers and for their employees.

Happy New Year to all - here’s to the year that’s been and the year to come!

1 “LIMRA’s U.S. Workplace Supplemental Health Insurance Sales Survey. Third Quarter 2017.”

Posted on December 28, 2017 in Industry

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