The U.S. workforce heading into 2019 is everchanging. We have a younger labor pool combined with a tighter market which ultimately requires employers to be always looking out for improvements to their benefits programs. After all, an employer’s benefits program is typically evaluated and scrutinized the most by potential employees deciding if they want to accept a job or not with them. Benefits brokers should be offering the following top voluntary benefits to their clients to add to their existing programs.
- Voluntary benefits give employees more customization options so they feel they have the full coverage they need
- Most voluntary benefits can be added to an employer’s benefits program for little to no cost to the company
- These programs are huge in an employer’s ability to attain and retain top talent
- Voluntary benefits offer brokers an additional route of revenue that can be long-lasting
To put this into perspective, medical insurance is the most important group benefit for most employees according to a survey done by the National Business Group on Health. With the cost to provide group employee health insurance expected to rise 5 percent to nearly $15,000 per employee, and with employers typically covering about 70 percent of these costs—you can see why it’s more important than ever for benefits brokers to be able to provide quality options to their clientele that will improve the well-being of their employees while also not breaking the bank for them either.
The Rising Voluntary Benefits for Brokers in 2019
As we head into 2019, the following voluntary benefits are gaining steam with employers all over the country.
Healthcare-related voluntary benefits
Today’s employees want to be able to cover the randomness of life through benefits plans offered through their employer. They are perfectly fine with paying for most, if not all of the premiums for these offerings, giving employers a cost-effective way to improve health and well-being for their employees.
- Critical Illness Insurance
- Accident Insurance
- Cancer Insurance
- Disability Insurance
- Hospital Indemnity Insurance
- Medigap Insurance (for the Boomers)
Although employees will be paying for these themselves, they still benefit because they receive lower group rates to go along with having the convenience to purchase said plans through their employer.
Enhancing Digital Healthcare Access
Above, we mentioned that the total cost of healthcare for individual employees will be nearly $15,000 per person. To address this, nearly half (49 percent) of all employer respondents to a survey “are either driving changes in the delivery system directly or through their health plan, leveraging digital solutions, or both. For example, 35 percent are implementing alternative payment and delivery models such as Affordable Care Organizations (ACOs) and high-performance networks (HPNs) either directly or their health plan.”
To add to this, 52 percent of respondents believe virtual care will play a significant role in how health care is delivered and 43 percent believe Artificial Intelligence will also play a major role in shaping health care. Finally, 51 percent responded that implementing more virtual care solutions is a top healthcare initiative on their list to add for 2019.
Some digital programs that can be accessed by employees at a better cost for them as well as their employer may include:
- Specialty drugs
- Drug rebates and more
Student Loan Assistance
A lot of today’s workforce is being strangled by heavy student loan debt. Around 44 million Americans owe a collective $1.5 trillion in student debt. With only 4 percent of U.S. companies offering any sort of student loan assistance, there is a lot of opportunities for brokers to push this in-demand benefit to employers. More than 0ne-third of employees overall—and 55 percent of Millennials— said student loan repayment is a must-have benefit.
Employee Purchase Programs
Did you know that nearly 1/4 Americans do not have an adequate emergency savings account? Because of this, due to an unforeseen medical emergency or a major needed purchase, people will more than likely withdraw a loan from their own 401k plan.
This is not good.
Employee purchase programs allow for employees to help pay for an item they may need immediately, but may not have the capital or credit available to do so. These programs help employees by spreading out the payments on the purchased items over a period of time through payroll deduction. This is an excellent program for younger employees especially when they are trying to establish credit while managing their student loan repayments.
These are just a few of the top voluntary benefits trending in 2019 for brokers to look into.
The Best Selling Voluntary Benefits Historically
According to a survey, benefits brokers are selling more voluntary benefits year-after-year. Fifty-seven percent of brokers are now selling or cross-selling voluntary benefits, which is up from 48 percent in 2015. The following statistics show a rising trend in this area of benefits that can be very lucrative for those ahead of the game:
Benefit brokers are also writing more voluntary benefit cases compared to last year:
- 1 or 2 new cases – 26% (27% in 2017)
- 3 to 5 – 34% (44% in 2017)
- 6 to 10 – 25% (18% in 2017)
- 11 to 15 – 7% (6% in 2017)
- 16 or more – 9% (4% in 2017)
The percent of revenue coming from voluntary benefits are also higher than in years past:
- Up to 5%: 35% (32% in 2017)
- 6% to 10%: 18% (32% in 2017)
- 11% to 25%: 28% (25% in 2017)
- 26% to 50%: 13% (6% in 2017)
- Greater than 50%: 7% (5% in 2017)
The most popular voluntary benefits being offered by brokers include:
- Accident Insurance
- Critical Illness Insurance
- Short-Term Disability Insurance
- Term Life
As you can see, the voluntary benefits game is heating up. Benefits brokers not participating are at risk to lose a lot of potential and long-lasting revenue if they are not committed to adding voluntary benefits to their toolbox.
Voluntary Benefits Administration Software
When selling, brokers can focus specifically on the human capital management automated modules directly aimed at improving the open enrollment process, navigating ACA compliance, Benefits Management and more.
Benefits brokers who partner their offerings with an HCM platform—and its automated modules—can offer to their clients a solution to help increase employee engagement and communication, navigate the challenges of ACA compliance and seamlessly handle the transfer of employee voluntary selections to appropriate carriers during open enrollment. With all data corralled in a single-source database, information can flow freely internally and/or externally to third-party vendors via integrations. HCM technology promotes efficiencies to both end users and administrators by automating manual tasks, reducing the need for paper, customizing impactful reports, saving hours of time, money and more.
Let’s not forget, Benefits Brokers win by improving their overall sales and by providing their clients with new technology that can scale to meet the needs of a companies’ ever-changing requirements over the long-term. By providing your clients with HCM technology that works, over time, they will continue to want to use it, as well as potentially add more modules to improve other areas of their HR operations.
Find out more about how the Unum Voluntary Benefits Widget increased sales for InfinityHR’s partner, Alexander & Company, by clicking here! The InfinityHR cloud-based, automated full HCM platform is the perfect option for benefits brokers who need a strong HCM, benefits management and ACA compliance partner to combine within their current benefits offerings. With seamless integrations to top carriers such as Unum, Aflac, BlueCross BlueShield and more, consultants partnering with InfintyHR have seen their opportunity-share rise in the market they are chasing.
The full HCM platform also offers modules in the following areas:
- Benefits Management
- ACA Compliance
- Employee self-service (Employee Portal)
- Payroll Processing
- Recruiting Applicant Tracking
- Time and Attendance
- Performance Management and Feedback Delivery
- Online Learning Management
- Succession Planning
- Employee Onboarding
- Job Posting and more
InfinityHR excels with organizations that have 100-10,000 employees.