Voluntary benefits products are surging in popularity.
As reported by BenefitsPro, brokers are discovering a growing appetite among employer customers for voluntary products to be included in benefits packages for employees, with the most popular including dental insurance, short-term disability insurance, life insurance, critical illness insurance and accident insurance.
In fact, research conducted by Aflac during 2015 identified a significant increase in voluntary products being offered by brokers.
According to Aflac surveys, the trend within employer-sponsored plans is to view major medical insurance as a foundation that is more effective when it is supplemented by employer-sponsored policies, including life and disability insurance. Additionally, today's voluntary insurance options, which assist in paying medical costs that major medical insurance was never intended to cover, are surging. In fact, the survey yielded the following information based on responses to questions about voluntary benefits:
Thirty-nine percent of companies offered voluntary options in 2014, which is up from 26 percent in 2012.
64 percent see a growing need for voluntary insurance today compared to years past.
58 percent plan to increase the amount of revenue from voluntary benefits at their firms over the next 12 months — up 9 percent increase over 2014 and 14 percent compared to 2013.
Why increase voluntary benefits? Asked about the drivers of this trend, brokers listed client demand for the products as No. 1, citing the need to be competitive by offering broader benefits options.
The Worker Vantage
According to Aflac research, voluntary insurance is more likely to be offered at growing companies (44%) than those that are maintaining (35%) or declining (35%) in terms of sales/revenue in the last 12 months. Nationally, 39 percent of employers offer voluntary products to their employees, most often life, long-term disability and short-term disability.
Not shocking, employees who feel financially secure are more satisfied with their jobs. Employees enrolled in voluntary benefits are more satisfied with their jobs than those who aren’t enrolled. Perhaps the reason is because benefits are about more than paying monthly premiums — they are about protecting one’s finances no matter what unexpected health events occur. When workers are financially protected, they’re more satisfied and more productive at work — a win for them and their employers.
Keep In Mind
As the Affordable Care Act provisions roll out, requiring individuals to have health care, more employees are enrolling in employer-sponsored insurance plans. For employers, more enrollments mean higher costs. They’re combating rising prices by offering lower-premium plans, a less expensive alternative to offering traditional health plans.
To learn more about the Aflac WorkForces Report, visit AflacWorkForcesReport.com.