September 13, 2018
Voluntary benefits have captured trade publications headlines recently, but do you know what they are? Voluntary benefits are benefits that are generally fully paid by employees and are cost effective because they are offered on a group basis. They are flexible—employers can provide the administration to take payroll deductions, or the benefits can be directly paid via credit cards or bank accounts. Typically, employers only provide core benefits, which include medical, dental, life insurance and disability benefits.
Employees have come to expect “core” benefits. They assume that there will be a plan to help pay for their medical expenses – they trust that if they become injured or sick, that there will be a disability plan to provide them with income. Employer-provided health care comes at a cost. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act several years ago, mandatory coverages have increased costs exponentially for both employers and employees. To help employees manage costs associated with high deductible health plans, employers have added voluntary benefits. Critical illness insurance, hospital indemnity insurance, and accident insurance provide a low-cost safety net that can help pay for some of these out-of-pocket expenses.
Sophisticated employers can create a broad benefit program that appeals to a diverse workforce. By offering a variety of different benefits, employees can pick and choose those that enhance their current coverage at costs that won’t break the bank. Examples of voluntary benefits include:
If you’re interested in expanding your benefit offerings to include voluntary programs, it’s important to fully understand how they will complement your existing offerings. Partner with a trusted consultant who can help you think through the strategy, development, and analysis of the RFP process and help to communicate and implement the program. Voluntary benefits outsourcing companies are your best partners because they work to align the needs of your organization to the best partners in the market.
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