A Competitive Benefits Package Includes Voluntary Supplemental Benefit Plans

Jon Hatcher, Vice President of Sales at Combined Worksite Solutions

A Competitive Benefits Package Includes Voluntary Supplemental Benefit Plans

Employers today are competing for top talent—and they can use a comprehensive employee benefits package to their advantage. That’s because top candidates understand the value of a well-rounded benefits offering and they’re wise to “shop around” for an employer who rises to their demands, especially when it comes to healthcare coverage. With medical costs taking a bigger chunk out of employee paychecks and family budgets, voluntary supplemental benefit plans can be a strategic addition to your benefits menu.

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In-demand benefits

What’s in a competitive benefits package, anyway? That depends on what your current and potential employees value. But one thing is for sure: they’re looking for more. Chances are good that benefits that enhance their health and pocketbooks are a great place to start.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2017 Employee Benefits Survey Report, one-third of organizations are expanding their overall benefits offerings to remain competitive in the talent marketplace. And while they may enhance their “feel good” workplace culture benefits like free coffee or community volunteer programs, organizations are most likely to focus on increasing wellness and health-related benefits—even ahead of flexible working, retirement savings and planning, and professional and career development benefits.1

That’s because healthcare benefits are so important to a majority of employees today. In fact, they’re the most important to 95% of them, according to SHRM’s 2016 Strategic Benefits survey.2 We’re likely to see major medical coverage remain a centerpiece in the employee benefit package for years to come.

But consider the financial impact of the rising out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures that also matter to Americans. Major medical plans cover a wide range of medical expenses, but not everything. What about the services that are covered—but subject to ever-climbing deductibles? What happens if a serious illness, accident or injury strikes, threatening a family’s income and lifestyle?

This is where voluntary supplemental benefits can come to the rescue.

Voluntary sales on the rise

Employees and employers alike have gotten the message that voluntary coverage can make a difference to one’s livelihood. Accident, critical illness and other such supplemental protections can help provide additional financial benefits that can help employees and their families. Look at these powerful statistics:

  • Employees would allocate about 1/4 of their benefit dollars to benefits that provide protections for employees’ wealth/income and those that offer medical protections, such as critical illness and accident insurance.3
  • 59% of employers offer an accident plan, 45% offer critical illness plans and 21% offer hospital indemnity insurance.4
  • Voluntary/worksite product sales reached $7.63 billion in 2016, an increase of almost 7% over 2015.5

Voluntary supplemental benefits are designed to help employees by providing cash benefits major medical coverage doesn’t and which can be used to pay out-of-pocket expenses that arise unexpectedly as a result of a covered illness or accident, for instance. Paid directly to the policyholder, benefits can be used however the policyholder chooses—such as protecting savings accounts that can be quickly drained by medical bills.

Benefits can also be used to pay non-medical expenses such as mortgages, utilities, education loans and even groceries. And disability plans can help replace a policyholder’s income if they’re unable to work due to a covered accident or illness.

These plans help round out your employer-based offerings and lend appeal to your overall employer value proposition—without adding cost pressure to your benefits budget. These products can be offered at the worksite—made available to employees during their annual open enrollment period—but paid for entirely, or in part, by employees. What’s more, the valuable coverage is affordable and provides a peace of mind.

To learn more, visit Worksite Solutions.

 

References:
1 Society for Human Resource Management, 2017 Employee Benefits: Remaining Competitive in a Challenging Talent Marketplace. 2017. Online pdf.
2 “Employers Alter Benefits to Attract, Retain Employees, SHRM Finds.” SHRM, 19 May 2017, www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/alter-benefits-attract-retain.aspx.
3 “Shifts in benefit allocations among U.S. employers.” Willis Towers Watson, www.towerswatson.com/en/Insights/Newsletters/Americas/Insider/2017/07/shifts-in-benefit-allocations-among-us-employers.
4 “Supplemental Health Coverage Makes Employees More Responsible – Workforce Magazine.” Workforce Magazine, 5 Jan. 2017, www.workforce.com/2017/01/05/supplemental-health-coverage-employees-responsible/.
5 “Four Voluntary Products Achieved Double-Digit Sales Increases in 2016 as Compared to 2015, According to the Eastbridge Consulting Group.” Business Wire, 11 May 2017, www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170511005052/en/Voluntary-Products-Achieved-Double-Digit-Sales-Increases-2016.

 

Supplemental insurance policies are underwritten by Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, Il) in all states except New York. In New York, these policies are underwritten by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY). All policies contain exclusions and limitations, see the policy for details. 

 

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