Companies trying to recruit and retain the best talent might want to take a closer look at voluntary benefits — it’s another way to expand offerings to employees without increasing costs to the employer.
According to employer services solution provider DP HealthNow, part of DentalPlans.com, the discounts offered to employees give them the opportunity to have options they otherwise might not have, even though the employer isn’t adding to the cost of the overall benefits package. While voluntary benefits come with group rate discounts, it’s the employees who pay for the benefits they want, should they choose to join such plans.
A recent survey by MetLife finds that more than half of respondents say that they would pay for benefits that increase their sense of financial security and support a better work-life balance. But which benefits are chosen by employees depends on their age and other contributing factors.
“We’ve seen a significant rise in interest over the past year in our voluntary benefits plan :DP HealthNow, which includes telehealth, healthcare advocacy, medical bill negotiation, vision and dental discounts among other options,” Keith Franklin, vice president of group benefits for DentalPlans.com’s employer services solution :DP HealthNow, says in a statement. Franklin adds, “We’ve learned that one size does not fit all and we work to provide solutions that make sense.”
The BenefitsPRO/Eastbridge voluntary benefits survey also indicates that insurance brokers see strong interest in voluntary benefits, with respondents indicating that brokers are selling voluntary benefits more actively than was the case just a few years ago. In fact, voluntary products are accounting for a larger percentage of all benefit brokers’ current revenue streams.
Voluntary benefits can run the gamut from medical bill negotiation, health care advocacy, telemedicine/telehealth, dental, vision and fitness to financial planning, prescription discounts, cybersecurity and/or identity theft protection, health care for pets and education/tuition reimbursement. With such a wide array of offerings, employees are almost certain to find something that suits their particular needs — and buy into it.
According to Franklin, “Employees walk away happy because they have more options and access to services and discounts, while companies increase their chances of obtaining quality talent.”
Franklin continues, “Businesses tell us that our plan helps them meet recruitment goals and support employee needs in an economically sensible way, and gain quantifiable results from their investment. Typically, the measurable ROI includes happier, healthier employees, reduced stress and medical absenteeism, along with increased productivity and loyalty to the company.”