If you have employees, you’ve likely wrestled with decisions related to the Affordable Care Act and the cost-effectiveness of providing employee benefits. A much simpler decision (one you might even call a “no-brainer”) is the choice of whether to offer voluntary benefits.
What are voluntary benefits?
- Optional benefits available at the worksite that can include life, disability, long-term care, vision, dental, identity theft and more
- 100% funded by the employee
- Available at group rates and often on a guaranteed issue basis, removing underwriting barriers
- Often paid for via payroll deduction
Why are voluntary benefits so appealing for Texas employers?
- Health coverage stop gap. With growing deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, products like critical illness coverage can help fill the gap. Voluntary products also help employers supplement increasingly lean employer-paid benefit programs. According to a 2011 LIMRA study, almost one-third of all employers have considered offering new voluntary benefits to replace existing employer-paid and contributory benefits.
- Attraction and retention. Voluntary benefits are one more way to help employees feel appreciated, rewarded and loyal to your company. In fact, 65 percent of employees said that it was important that their employers offer voluntary products according to a survey from Transamerica Employee Benefits. The study also reported that 62 percent of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to purchase voluntary benefits.
- Productivity. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and voluntary benefits can help your workers get the health care services they need. Also, by providing voluntary options at the worksite, your employees won’t have to take time out of their busy days to shop for insurance elsewhere.
- Aging workforce. Thanks to the Baby Boomer generation, the American workforce is getting older. Older workers appreciate having access to richer benefits.
- Little cost to employers. The best part is that voluntary benefits allow you to give employees something more at little to no cost to your company. Typically, the only cost is the labor and time involved with setting up the onsite benefit meeting and facilitating payroll deduction. And, with assistance from your insurance broker, these tasks are faster and easier than you might expect.
So you see, there are many advantages of offering voluntary benefits. It’s no wonder that a recent LIMRA survey found that voluntary benefits grew 9 percent in annualized premium in 2013. In addition, sales of voluntary accident, critical illness and vision products have experienced double-digit growth for the past three years.
Click here to learn more about voluntary benefit options through Higginbotham. We’d love to help you protect your greatest business asset – your trained and productive workforce.