It was a very busy year in financial services. Our website visits grew by 72 percent to five million as we brought you comprehensive coverage of the industry. This week, we will bring you our top five most popular 2017 stories in life insurance, annuities, finance, politics, health insurance and the DOL fiduciary rule.
Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and issues related to health care reform dominated the national news in 2017, InsuranceNewsNet readers were more interested in learning about other topics relating to health insurance during the past year.
Of the top five health insurance articles posted to InsuranceNewsNet.com, only two pertained to the ACA.
Readers were more interested in employee benefits, health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans in 2017 as consumers seek ways to get the coverage that suits them best.
Health insurance brokers have been turning more to employee benefits as the individual health insurance market has faced its challenges. That trend played out in our most-read health insurance article of 2017. The survey, from the State of Employee Benefits 2017 Regional Edition, showed that workers are as interested in buying voluntary benefits as brokers are in selling them.
Voluntary benefit participation rates for 2017 rose by 567 percent in the Midwest, 208 percent in the South, 138 percent in the West and 59 percent in the Northeast, compared with the previous year, the report stated.
The Department of Labor fiduciary rule hung over many aspects of the financial services industry in 2017 - and health care did not escape its clutches.
A report that the rule applies to health savings accounts that are used to save for health care expenses in retirement generated a great deal of interest from InsuranceNewsNet readers.
The State of Employees Benefits study yielded another highly-read InsuranceNewsNet article. The article stated that although more large employers added high-deductible health plan options and voluntary income protection products to their benefits, fewer employees decided to enroll in either for 2017.
The increasing cost of high-deductible plans was named as the main reason for the consumer turn-off.
Our most-read article about the ACA came from a North Carolina newspaper's account of a congressman's town hall meeting discussing the health care law's future. Congressman G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., organized the meeting to give a progress report on open enrollment season and answer questions that citizens raised concerning the law.
President Donald Trump used the power of the pen to chip away at the ACA. This particular executive order took aim at the small group market, easing the rules that allow small businesses to band together to buy health insurance through association health plans.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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