by Audrey Perez, Client Relationship Manager
Voluntary benefits are products and services offered by employers but paid mostly or at 100% by employees through payroll deductions. Most of the time voluntary benefits can be purchased at a lower rate than what can be found on the individual market and can be deducted from wages on a pre-tax basis. Voluntary benefits can be a cost-efficient way to provide additional coverage to your employees purchasing these plans through their employer at a lower group rate and taking advantage of pre-taxed payroll deductions. This setup provides increased value to employees, which in turn makes them more important for employers too.
Employers have an opportunity to offer a comprehensive benefits package based on what their Employees really need with this cost sharing option. As an employer, you should consider offering these products to:
- Stay competitive with what other employers in your industry or geographical location are offering.
- Find (and retain) the right talent.
- Control Costs – Voluntary policies can be offered at no direct cost to you and provide cash directly to the policyholder. In turn, this reduces costs associated with turnover.
- Manage Productivity – Voluntary benefits would offer a layer of protection for employees when they are sick or injured (regardless of their major medical insurance coverage).
As an employee, there are many reasons to purchase these benefits, peace of mind being one of them.
Voluntary benefits include products such as:
Accident Insurance provides compensation to employees in the event they suffer major physical harm due to an accident. Many insurance policies even reimburse employees for seeing their doctor a couple times per year for preventive services.
In the event of a cancer diagnoses, an enrollee receives money with which to pay for treatment and sometimes, to help pay non-medical expenses. Cancer insurance can bring you peace of mind, but whether it is right for you depends on your family medical history and your financial situation.
Critical Illness provides a lump sum to enrollees in the event of a critical illness such as a heart attack or stroke. These funds can be used to pay medical or non-medical expenses, such as child-care, while the employee is unable to work.
Short-term disability (STD) pays a percentage of an employee’s salary when they are not able to work as a result of injury or illness. The employee must elect to receive STD insurance before they become unable to work. They cannot sign up for the insurance after they are unable to work. Typically, STD covers about 11 to 13 weeks of time off due to injury/illness.
Long-term disability insurance (LTD) protects an employee from loss of income in the event that he or she is unable to work due to illness, injury, or accident for an extended period of time.
Financial counseling helps employees manage their finances. Traditionally, this has mainly focused on retirement plans, but as baby boomers approach the end of their working careers, financial counseling now also includes a range of topics such as credit card debt, investment advice, tax advice, saving and budgeting.
Hospital Indemnity Insurance:
Hospital confinement indemnity insurance provides a lump-sum benefit to help with out-of-pocket costs related to a hospital stay. This may include outpatient surgery, diagnostic tests, doctor’s appointments and emergency room trips.
ID Theft Protection:
Unsurprisingly, this voluntary benefit is growing in popularity and while some people may be interested in purchasing ID theft monitoring or protection, they may have trouble picking a trustworthy company. If an employer offers protection through a specific company, employees may feel more comfortable enrolling. Premiums are often the same whether you’re buying a standalone policy or adding a “rider” or “endorsement” to your homeowners or renters policy.
Legal assistance typically gives employees access to qualified attorneys at a reduced cost. Coverage usually applies to the most common personal legal matters including family, vehicle, real estate, civil lawsuits and wills.
Many employers offer life insurance in the amount of an employee’s annual salary at no charge, while allowing them to purchase supplemental policies for themselves and their dependents. These cost varies significantly depending on age, lifestyle and overall health.
Coverage for pets to help alleviate the cost of a pet’s illness, oftentimes used during end-of-life care. The policy must be purchased when the pet is still healthy – oftentimes within the first few years of its life.
How we can help:
At Keller Stonebraker we have over 115 years experience. We pride ourselves in representing some of the most reliable names in the industry. We can help your company market, setup and administer your voluntary benefits by:
- Requesting proposals from different carriers and market based on your needs
- Gathering the paperwork needed to implement the plan(s) you selected
- Hosting enrollment meetings using customized benefit guides and bilingual services as needed
- Setup online enrollment and billing platforms
- Assign and introduce your dedicated account manager and service team and provide a great level of service throughout the year and at renewal
We also service:
- Life, Disability and Long Term Care
- Health, Dental, Vision policies
- Personal and Commercial Property and Casualty
For additional information or to request a quote, visit us at:
or by calling 1-800-733-2530.