Voluntary benefits (whether from Aflac, Colonial Life, TransAmerica, etc...) seem to be one of the most misunderstood employer-based products on the market. While typically they can be sold without regard to the other benefits being offered, that method would be akin to buying tires for your car without regard to the type of car you have. Traditionally voluntary benefits imply benefits that are purchased with no contribution to cost by the employer. However, more and more employers are beginning to understand that voluntary benefits should be part of their core benefit offerings.
Voluntary Benefits Carriers We Represent
- Aflac - Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, founded in 1955 and based in Columbus, Georgia.
- Allstate - Bought American Heritage Life in 1999 to form Allstate Benefits
- Assurant - Expanded product line in ~2009 to begin to offer voluntary benefits.
- Colonial Life - Began in 1939 and invented the concept of payroll deduction voluntary benefits.
- Humana - Acquired Kanawha's parent company in 2007 to begin offering voluntary benfits.
- TransAmerica - A susidiary of Aegon who has a broad product line which includes worksite benefits.
- Unum - Owned by the Unum Group, provides voluntary benefits as well as traditional group products.
- And....dozens of others.
In additional to this voluntary benefits broker survey, finding the right carrier requires asking a few questions:
- How long has the company been in this industry?
- How many other lines of business do they focus on, or do they focus purely on voluntary benefits?
- If they are a newer carrier to this section of the industry, what is the particular reason you would want to consider doing business with them? In other words, is the potential savings worth the potential hassle with claims or service?
- What is the support system in place for agents and brokers?
- Is it worth spending 20-30% more for a company just because they do a lot of national advertising? In other words, do you want your employees to put that extra premium to paying for commercials or possibly buying more, better coverage?
Save up to 30% on your current plan with similar or better coverage
We constantly hear from brokers that their client wants to consider their health insurance options first, and then look at voluntary options later. If your broker tells you this, find a new broker -- and with this example, you will understand why. And, you will know more about voluntary benefits than your broker.
Without charts and graphs to bore you, let us just consider two BlueCross BlueShield plans in which one plan is a zero deductible plan and the other contains a $1500 deductible for hosptialization or surgery. Why would you purchase the zero deductible plan when for less than half the difference in cost you could add a separate hosptial/surgical plan that could pay the deductible? (Answer: You would not).
A typical set up for educated companies and brokers would be to package benefits like a hospital/surgical plan (one that pays a lump sum and not a daily benefit), an accident plan, and a critical illness policy. For $40-$60/month, this package could be added and paid by either the employee or employer. Or, they could share the cost. For companies under 100 employees, many are doing away with group health insurance and sending their employees to the health insurance exchanges. And, in some cases, lower income employees are receiving subsidies from the government.
Then, the employer can "subsidize" the employee by paying for the package above. The employee wins, the employer wins and the government helps pay for the benefits.
As a clearing house for voluntary benefits, we can help you choose the best providers. We can help you avoid the expensive ones that spend too much money advertising instead of on their policy holders. And, we can help you avoid the ones that are paying your broker big commissions to offer their plan that just came on the market in the last handful of years. Many health carriers just entered the voluntary market with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act. You are not in the business of taking sub par companies for the benefit of your broker. We will help you avoid that trap.