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3 truths and a lie: How to sell more vol­un­tary benefits 

In 2019, three trends will continue while one will not.

If you were actively selling worksite products last year, you may have experienced the trends below first-hand. Recent studies support the idea these three trends will continue, which presents a great opportunity for worksite benefit brokers. Here are the facts:

Truth 1: Employers are paying more, getting less and passing costs on to employees.

It’s no secret the cost of major medical insurance and employee health deductibles continue to rise. Employers really have no choice but to look for ways to control their employee benefit spend, resulting in rising health insurance deductibles and more out-of-pocket costs for employees.

Among covered workers with a general annual deductible, the average annual deductible for single coverage has increased 39% over the last five years to $1,573 in 2018.1

Truth 2: The percentage of employers paying for benefits continues to decline.

Over the last 8 to 10 years, products that traditionally have had the highest percentage of employers paying the full premium have seen the percentage steadily decline.2

Inforce premium of voluntary products has risen over the same period, with estimated inforce premium increasing from $22.9 billion in 2008 to $42.3 billion in 2017.3

Truth 3: Voluntary benefits help address the financial well- being of employees.

The top reason employers offer voluntary benefits is to address the financial well-being of their employees. Other reasons include employees expressing interest in voluntary products and the employer’s desire to address gaps in their current plan/offer a wider array of benefits.2

60 percent of employers offer at least one voluntary benefit to their employees. The number increases for large employers with over 80 percent of employers over 500 employees offering a voluntary product.

In a recent study, 21% of employers cited “never presented with the opportunity” as an important factor as to why they do not offer voluntary products.2

Lie: All worksite carriers are created equal.

Are they? As any experienced worksite broker knows, it’s difficult for a carrier to differentiate solely on product. So, it really comes down to the service experience you and your clients receive. Every carrier will tell you they have great service, but what exactly does that mean?

Is new business issued promptly? Are claims paid efficiently? When you or a client have a question is your call answered quickly by a live human being? Ask yourself - Do the carriers I work with make me and my worksite business a priority? Do they make my life easier?

1. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2018 Employer Health Benefits Survey 2. Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., The Employer Viewpoint Spotlight Report, November 2018 3. Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., U.S. Voluntary Worksite Sales Report, May 2018