Special Report

The state of voluntary benefits

The demand for voluntary benefits has been growing for years, but COVID-19 and the events of the past year provided clear evidence that employees need more access to diverse benefits options. While a growing number of employers and benefits advisors have tested the waters of voluntary benefits in recent years, we're now entering an era where truly customized benefits packages are a must for employers who want to remain competitive.

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Health care costs have been on the rise over the past decade. In response, some employers have scaled back on their health insurance offerings, at times leaving gaps in coverage. As a result, the voluntary benefits market, where employees pay the premiums, has become more popular among employers.

These voluntary benefits programs, however, have underlying costs to employers, including those related to implementation and administration. Digital tools can help employers reduce these costs by simplifying operations and improving efficiency.

Related: Voluntary products and processes

A LIMRA survey looked at how employers are using digital tools to implement and administer voluntary benefits. When it comes to employers, 93% report access to a digital tool for online billing (most often available digital tool). The ability to file bulk wellness claims is the least used digital tool, though 71% of employers report access to this capability.

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