Many employers are facing a real dilemma when it comes to employee benefits. Health care costs continue to rise, and maintaining a comprehensive and competitive employee benefits program is becoming increasingly difficult. Offering supplemental benefits can be a way to control costs and still meet employee’s needs.
Why supplemental benefits?
- No single employee benefits plan can meet the needs of every employee;
- High quality benefits are an excellent way to cost effectively provide financial protection for your employees and their families;
- Indemnity benefits are paid directly to your employees to provide them and their families with additional funds to use in whatever manner they need, such as to help pay debts or out-of-pocket expenses; and
- Employees obtain affordable, appropriate insurance products by using convenient payroll deductions.
What are worksite supplemental benefits?
Worksite supplemental benefits are benefits that are offered at the worksite, but are selected and paid for by employees through payroll deductions. Employers can define their budget or contribution to supplemental benefits by allocating a fixed monthly dollar amount that employees can use to tailor a supplemental benefits program that fits their specific needs. This allows employers to limit their cost increases while delivering more benefits.
Typical supplemental products include disability, life, accident, critical illness, and medical gap products, such as maternity, personal sickness, cancer, heart/stroke, ICU and dental coverage. The flexibility of these products and their unique ability to fill in benefit gaps makes them attractive to employers and employees. Supplemental worksite benefits are designed to complement, not replace, the core benefits employers already offer.
How can employers successfully offer these products?
Several factors can ensure success for employers offering supplemental benefits at the worksite. Determining how to implement supplemental benefits is as important as determining which products to offer. Effective communication and convenient, understandable enrollment and administration processes are vital to the success of these types of programs. Your benefits consultant can help you design your strategy for implementing your supplemental benefits plan.
Participation in supplemental benefits programs may suffer if proper attention is not paid to the content and location of implementation meetings. Your benefits consultant can help you plan and conduct group and one-on-one implementation meetings, as well as choose the most suitable location for these meetings. Group and individual meetings allow employees to assess their current benefits and identify any gaps that can be filled by the supplemental benefits offered by the employer. In the group meetings, the presenter will review the products being offered, so employees can determine if they or their families have a specific need for a product. Employees can then review any products they are interested in and get more information relating to their specific situation during one-on-one consultations
Carriers often offer electronic applications that let employees know if they qualify for specific coverage at the time of enrollment, rather than submitting an application and being rejected at a later date. Another enrollment capability a carrier might offer is enrolling the group’s core benefits as well as the supplemental benefits. This service can allow employers to have one deduction report for all benefits. The more services a carrier can offer at the time of enrollment, the easier it is for employers to design a strategy that fits their specific needs.
Worksite supplemental benefits are becoming a popular alternative for employers looking to enhance their employee benefits program while containing costs. A qualified consultant who is knowledgeable about the various products, enrollment, and administrative differences can help you design the most effective program for your needs.