If you have a small business, you’re probably trying to make heads and tails of group health insurance. Which may be easier said than done. One aspect of group health insurance that you might be thinking about is voluntary benefits. What exactly are voluntary benefits? Should you offer them? How does it work? We’ll explain six things you need to know about voluntary benefits.
What are voluntary benefits?
Voluntary benefits are coverages that employees can choose to add to their health insurance plans. It can help your employees fill the gaps in their health insurance by choosing to include other coverages, such as dental or vision insurance. Employees get to choose the coverages they want and leave behind the ones they don’t – kind of like going to a buffet. Except, you know, insurance-style.
6 things to know about voluntary benefits.
1. They can be low-cost to employers.
Let’s talk about how these voluntary benefits are paid for.
Usually, the employee will pay for the voluntary benefits they choose through payroll deductions. It’s convenient for the employee – and low-cost to you as the employer since the employee is footing the bill. (Although you can contribute to covering the cost.)
And considering what we’re going to cover in our next point, you could see a lot of benefits (pardon the pun) from offering voluntary benefits to your employees.
2. Voluntary benefits can help with recruiting and retaining talent.
When you’re hiring, you want to get the best of the best to work for you, right? Problem is, the best of the best might have other offers on the table.
If you’ve got a solid group health insurance plan that includes valuable voluntary coverages that your employees want you can set yourself apart from other potential employers. You give yourself an advantage in the sometimes bloodthirsty game of hiring.
Recruiting top talent isn’t the only thing to consider. Providing benefits for your employees can also help you keep the wonderful minions that you already have. If your employees are happy with their benefits plan and are getting the coverage they need, they’ll probably be less likely to leave or sniff around for other jobs. When people are getting the benefits they need through work, they have less incentive to job search – it’s just one less thing they’re worried about.
3. Voluntary benefits allow more flexibility for your employees in their health insurance choices.
People like to have choices, and they like to be able to customize the things they need to the needs they have. And health insurance is no different. Offering voluntary benefits means that your employees have the power to choose which coverages they want to add and which they don’t. Everyone has different health insruance needs, after all. As an employer, you can offer voluntary benefits that make sense for your employees in terms of what they would find useful, helpful, and beneficial.
4. There are your typical voluntary benefits…
Some group health benefits are more common than others. (And some people may have even come to expect them!)
Examples of more “typical” benefits include…
- Life insurance
- Critical illness
- Short-term/long-term disability
Again, the nice thing about these benefits is that employees aren’t obligated to purchase them. They can simply add the ones they want and not pay for the others.
5. …and your not-so-typical benefits.
There are other benefits that are a bit more “outside-the-box.” Employees’ needs change, and that has led some employers to offer different, more creative benefits.
For example, some newer benefits that have evolved are…
- Pet insurance
- Legal services
- Financial counseling
- Student loan repayment
- Career development
- Hospital indemnity insurance
6. Employees often get a group rate.
When you offer these benefits as an employer, your employees often get a reduced group rate. That means that they’ll probably pay less getting the benefit through you than going elsewhere. See, insurance does this kind of magic trick sometimes, and it’s kind of great when it does!
So, those are six things to know about voluntary benefits. If you’re in the process of choosing a group health insurance plan, it might be a good idea to put some thought into group health benefits and whether or not you want to offer them.
And our team of group health insurance experts can help you find the plan that’s right for your business and your employees. We’ll help you compare coverages and pricing, and we can also decode the befuddling language that is group health insurance. Get started with quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.