Voluntary Benefits: A win-win approach to offering an attractive benefits plan

Posted in: Employee Benefits

In the era of health care reform, high-deductible health plans significantly increased health care costs to most employees. It is important to consider how an accident might affect their month-to-month budgets. Even with a comprehensive major medical plan, they could still face substantial out-of-pocket expenses. Consider the following findings from the 2015 Aflac Workforces Report:

  • 25 percent of workers have less than $500 in reserve for out-of-pocket expenses; 46 percent have less than $1,000
  • 10 million insured Americans ages 19 to 64 will face bills they are unable to pay
  • 20 percent of American adults are struggling to pay their medical bills
  • 3 in 5 bankruptcies are due to medical bills

There is a way to help your employees bridge the gap between their wallets and their out-of-pocket medical costs. By offering supplemental accident insurance as part of a larger voluntary benefits program, you can help your workers find peace of mind and make your company stand out against the competition.

What are voluntary benefits, and why do they matter?

Out-of-pocket medical costs can add up quickly, but with voluntary (aka supplemental) insurance, employees can protect their financial well-being in the event of a serious accident or illness. Supplemental insurance can help pay unexpected or extra health care costs — like co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles — that the employee’s plan doesn’t cover. This gives the employee a financial safety net for unexpected healthcare costs. The types of supplemental insurance include: accident insurance, cancer insurance, hospital confinement indemnity insurance, and short-term disability insurance.

Supplemental insurance also offers significant benefits to employers of all sizes. For instance, employees enrolled in supplemental benefits are more likely to be satisfied with their benefits options — this, according to the report mentioned above. Employers who offer supplemental insurance policies experience lower workers’ compensation claims, too. Overall, supplemental insurance can help boost employee satisfaction and loyalty, and it can help you recruit and retain a talented, productive workforce.

Enhancing work/life balance

A robust offering of voluntary benefits can go well beyond the standard offerings of health, vision, dental, life, disability, and 401k. Another way to attract and retain top talent — and to get people talking about your benefits package in a positive light — is to offer employees a curated, carefully vetted list of additional voluntary benefits, with a focus on work/life balance.

In some cases, your company could establish a relationship with vendors that help employees better manage their personal lives. Or you could simply have someone in your HR department spend some time checking on which vendors get the best ratings in your region. Some of these could go on your list:

  • Grocery delivery services
  • Dog walking providers
  • Dry cleaning pick-up vendors
  • Daycare or babysitter providers
  • College debt refi services
  • Mortgage loans (without PMI/no fees)
  • Employee credit lines
  • Wills and trusts vendors
  • Handyman services
  • And, give your team additional perks as rewards for doing a great job!

At PSA, we believe that the best way to improve company performance is to keep our employees healthy, happy, and financially satisfied. For companies looking to increase productivity, enrich their benefits package, and save money, voluntary benefits could be the way to go. For more information, contact me at JGreif@psafinancial.com.

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