The business community is no stranger to change. Many industries have experienced explosive transition in recent years with changing government regulations, economic challenges, increased pressure to reduce costs and rapid technological advances. Even the nation’s workforce has changed. Today’s employees are more diverse demographically, better educated and more interested in making their own benefits decisions.
Times are changing. And smart agencies are changing, too. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution that won’t add to your overhead but will add to your income. All you need to do is form a partnership with a proven voluntary benefits provider. The right voluntary benefits provider will help you deliver new strategies and solutions to your clients, create additional income for your agency and help you build long-term relationships with your clients.
Voluntary benefits can give your clients a way to control costs and meet employee needs. Although these may seem like contradictory goals, voluntary benefits help them achieve both.
Voluntary benefits can help
Voluntary benefits allow your clients to offer an enhanced benefits package and give their employees the flexibility they want. Voluntary benefits also offer your clients many advantages, including a more attractive benefits package that can help them recruit and retain qualified, professional employees. When combined with the convenience of payroll-deducted premiums, voluntary benefits make an exciting addition to an employee’s existing benefits package.
Voluntary benefits can also help employees who may have coverage gaps. For example, if your client’s group health insurance has a high deductible, you may want to offer employees a voluntary hospital confinement indemnity plan that would pay benefits for an inpatient hospital stay. The employee could use the benefits to cover the deductible and other out-of-pocket medical expenses. Or if your client provides a flat amount of group life insurance, you could offer voluntary life insurance for employees who may need more coverage. Most voluntary benefits plans pay benefits directly to the insured person. Then, the insured person can use the benefits to pay for expenses not covered by group benefits or for other nonmedical expenses, such as the mortgage, electricity bills, home health care, rehabilitation, travel to treatment centers, groceries and more.
Your clients are looking for ways to cope with health insurance inflation. Some are switching to higher deductible plans. Some are debating whether they can still afford to offer health insurance. And nearly all of them are getting calls from your competitors about how they can save your clients money.
Benefits communication is critical
A good benefits package is critical to helping retain and attract quality employees. But the benefits your clients provide are meaningless unless employees understand them. With reductions in human resources staffs during the past few years, this important element of a successful benefits plan has often been left undone. Help your clients get the most value out of their benefits investment by making sure employees understand and appreciate the benefits they provide.
You don’t have to be an expert on voluntary benefits when you partner with an expert
You’ll be surprised and relieved at what the right voluntary benefits provider can do for you — at no cost. Instead of offering your clients the dreaded annual health insurance rate increases, you’ll bring them cost-saving solutions with the potential to increase your clients’ employee satisfaction and retention.
You no longer have to be the expert on every new product and every new trend in employee benefits. The right voluntary benefits provider knows about product and enrollment trends, can provide the most desirable products and services, has in-depth experience in worksite marketing and can deliver ongoing solutions.
What’s more, the right voluntary benefits partner truly is a partner. It’s your decision whether they have an active or silent role with your clients. You should feel comfortable and confident with them so you’re able to call on their experience and insights and feel free to use them as a sounding board.
They should also offer comprehensive resources so they can actively market to your accounts and provide ongoing account service. You’ll find that the right partner is like adding a skilled, professional employee to your agency — at no cost to you.
What to look for in a voluntary benefits partner
With more and more companies getting into the voluntary benefits area, you have more choices than ever for finding a partner. So how do you choose?
Start off by finding out if your potential partner has limits on account size. You want someone who says “yes” when you call for help, not one who makes you jump through hoops or is only interested in the big accounts. You want a voluntary benefits partner who is eager to help you enroll accounts of any size and shape.
Look at your potential partner’s track record. What is its persistency rate? This measure will tell you if the employees keep the products they’ve purchased. The higher the persistency rate, the better your partner is at initial and re-enrollments. You’ll also want to see performance survey results on the company’s enrollment team.
You don’t have to go it alone. The right voluntary benefits partner can help you maintain long-term relationships with your clients — and provide you with additional income opportunities that will bring in more revenue year after year.