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Seventy-two percent of surveyed members of LIMRA's Employee Benefits Advisor Panel predict that health care reform will have a negative impact on sales of group medical insurance.

While that prediction alone is not surprising, size of the employer can make a difference on perceived impact. Advisors who represent small employers (fewer than 50 employees) are far more concerned by the impact of Obamacare (with 77 percent saying it will have a negative impact) than advisors who represent larger employers (50 or more employees), only 62 percent of whom felt the new health care law would have a negative impact on group benefits. 

Members of the employee benefits advisor panel were surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2013 on their predictions and opinions on a number of issues including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implications. Other findings from the survey include:

While employee benefits advisors were negative about group sales of medical insurance, they were more evenly split on individual medical insurance with 42 percent of advisors citing a potentially positive effect on sales and 45 percent citing a negative impact on sales.

The survey also covered the impact of the Internet and social media on shopping for insurance. A separate LIMRA study of Gen X and Y consumers found that many expect to have the option to purchase financial products how and where they want — including online. Employee benefits advisors are clearly aware of this trend with nearly two thirds believing more simple, lower-cost insurance policies will be offered to consumers who prefer to shop online. 

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