Worksite Benefits in the New Year

Employee Benefits, War For Talent

An integral part of your overall benefits strategy

As we make our way into 2018, we continue to find ourselves in the midst of an employee benefits transformation. Employers from virtually every industry are scouring for budget-friendly solutions to help employees preserve their financial well-being. Add to this challenge a multi-generational workforce with a bevy of different learning styles and the plot truly thickens. How can employers continue to provide a competitive, appealing benefits package and communicate it in an effective and engaging way?

Sales in the voluntary worksite benefits market have increased nearly every year for the past 15 years (the exception was 2010, when ACA implementation first disrupted the health insurance market). The growth is a direct result of benefit budget pressure. Employers of all stripes face the stark reality that cost-containment of the benefits package has myriad downstream implications. Raising deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums is a common strategy, but with nearly two-thirds of Americans reporting they’re ill-prepared for an unexpected expense of $1,000, the approach puts workers’ personal financial security at risk. In addition, maintaining a competitive benefits package is a central tenet of talent recruitment and retention. If the benefits package is perceived as less competitive then job-satisfaction, hiring and retention rates can pay the price.

A Budget-Friendly Benefits Boost

Fortunately, voluntary supplemental health benefits are a cost-effective way to help employees fill in the gaps. Benefits such as Critical Illness, Accident and Hospital Indemnity insurance usually pay lump-sum amounts to the insured in the event of a serious diagnosis, an unexpected injury or a hospital stay. With a lump-sum model benefits can be used to mitigate out-of-pocket expenses, pay for experimental treatment, cover travel expenses or simply to pay the household bills.  Even better, this suite of products has evolved over the years so that they’re now easier to enroll than ever, nearly always without invasive pre-qualifying medical questions. Annual wellness benefits ranging from $50-$100+ are commonly included in these types of plans and can support employers’ push for a healthier workforce with a monetary incentive for preventative care. Premiums are typically paid for by payroll deduction and the plans are designed with affordability in mind.

Promoting a Consumer-Savvy Workforce

While supplemental health plans provide a great deal of value to employees, it’s what the plans can do for employers that make them a critical component of a cutting-edge benefits strategy. We’ve already touched on the fact that they can complement wellness initiatives. Now imagine you’re looking for ways to better engage and educate your workforce – with the right enrollment and communication strategy in place, worksite plans can do just that in a way that is cost-neutral for employers. These plans can be leveraged to launch a customized, tailored benefits communication strategy that better meets the needs of a diverse workforce. Furthermore, many worksite benefit carriers now offer technology credits (subsidies, really) when a new benefit administration system is being launched alongside worksite plans. This is the market’s way of acknowledging the shift to online benefits administration and the boost it can mean for participation in voluntary plans.

Learn more about M3’s Worksite Practice or contact your M3 Account Executive to discuss how worksite benefit options can work into your organization’s overall benefit strategy.

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