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In the first quarter of 2022, new annual premiums for supplemental health insurance products totalled $1.1 billion in the U.S., a six per cent increase from the same period last year, according to LIMRA’s latest workplace benefits sales surveys.

Most workplace supplemental health insurance product lines ― accident, critical illness, cancer and hospital indemnity insurance ― recorded positive growth in premiums in the first quarter of the year. Cancer insurance grew 13 per cent, hospital indemnity jumped 12 per cent, accident insurance increased nine per cent and critical illness rose two per cent.

However, supplemental health products that don’t fit under the categories above ― such as gap insurance, minimum essential coverage plans, limited benefit medical and heart/stroke products ― saw a decline in sales.

Read: U.S. employers offering new, additional voluntary benefits to retain, attract talent: survey

“Coming out of the pandemic, employers are looking at the benefits they offer to better support the needs of their workers and we’re seeing an increased interest in supplemental health insurance products,” said Patrick Leary, LIMRA’s vice-president and director of its workplace benefits research program, in a press release. “During the pandemic, our research showed that employees found a number of benefits more important to them than prior to it. These included supplemental health benefits.”

During the first quarter of 2022, life insurance carriers that participated in the survey issued $1.5 billion in total new annualized premium life insurance sales, a 16 per cent decrease from the same timeframe last year. Group life insurance sales fell 18 per cent in the same period, while individual life insurance sales were up by more than a quarter (28 per cent).

Total workplace disability insurance new premiums garnered $1.4 billion for the first three months of 2022, a year-over-year decline of 12 per cent from the same period in 2021. Indeed, nearly all disability product lines experienced a year-over-year decline in new premium sales, with short-term disability product lines posting the steepest decline, down 19 per cent, and long-term disability products down six per cent.

Read: An employer’s guide to curating a suite of voluntary benefits