Why voluntary benefits mean more than you think
The most important benefits an employer can offer are those that get used.
There is little argument that at enrollment time, the average employee spends the most time evaluating their employer health insurance plan. What’s next? Traditionally it has been employer-provided life and disability insurance plans. However, an expanded market for voluntary products has resulted from high health care costs, the rise of high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and the evolution of voluntary products themselves. Benefits like accident expense and critical illness, which were once “supplemental,” have become vital to employee benefit plans and more top-of-mind with employees.
Here are three reasons why offering voluntary benefits may do more to help employers attract and retain employees than the standard company-provided group term life plan.
1. Voluntary health benefits get used
The frequency of benefits provided on group critical illness, accident expense and hospital indemnity plans is much higher than on a group term life plan, especially if the plans include a preventive care or health screening rider. Benefits that get used generate goodwill with employees and provide more frequent opportunities for them to see the value of their plan and talk about it with co-workers.
2. One size does not fit all
A single person in their 20s doesn’t have the same insurance needs as someone in their 50s who is married with kids – so their benefits packages shouldn’t be the same. Voluntary benefits offer an effective way to meet the increasingly diverse benefit needs of employees, allowing them to customize their benefits to meet their lifestyle.
3. Higher out-of-pocket costs
High deductible health plans are becoming increasingly popular with employers who are looking to control the cost of employee benefits and keep premiums affordable. However, a higher deductible or moving to an HDHP is often perceived as a takeaway by employees. Voluntary benefits provide a means for employees to help cover out-of-pocket expenses and can take away some of the financial sting of having to meet a higher deductible before the health plan pays.
Now is the time
Employee demand and the need for voluntary benefits have never been higher. Show your clients how voluntary benefits can help them protect the financial well-being of their employees and provide a more complete employee benefits package at no added cost to the employer.