Employers say robust voluntary options are essential

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 @ 06:06

Voluntary options a key part of employers' benefits strategy

A growing number of U.S. employers now consider voluntary benefits an integral component of their core employee benefit strategy, according to the 2018 Emerging Trends: Voluntary Benefits and Services Survey by leading global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson

U.S. employers now consider voluntary benefits an integral part of their benefits strategy, according to a new study published by Willis Towers Watson.

This number has consistently been on the rise. Five years ago, 41 percent of employers surveyed said voluntary benefits were of little importance to their value proposition to employees. Now, just five percent of employers feel that way.

The takeaway is that, with a robust employment rate, more employers are recognizing that a competitive benefits package is key to recruitment and retention.

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Tags: voluntary benefits

Employers, here’s how to maximize your ancillary options

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 @ 08:11

Use technology to expand your benefits package without rising costs

Most employers want to offer a competitive benefits package. But few are offering voluntary options beyond the standard dental, vision and disability. Why is this?

Many employers mistakenly think that offering a wide range of voluntary options would be expensive. But the reality is that many lines of coverage can be offered at little to no cost to the employer.

What does make offering more lines of coverage complicated are the administrative burdens associated with expanded ancillary options. From paper forms to billing errors, offering many voluntary options is hard to manage on paper. Further, most small and mid-sized businesses have a small HR team—if they have one at all. This leads many employers to believe expanding their benefits package is next to impossible.

However, a benefits platform completely streamlines the process. Bernard Health clients have complimentary access to BerniePortal, which makes it easy to offer, compare and enroll in more lines of coverage than ever before.

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Tags: employer digest, employer health benefits, employer health plans, health insurance premiums, BerniePortal, voluntary benefits

Auto-enrollment boosts retirement saving

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 @ 09:08

Small tweaks can lead to big results

Implementing auto-enrollment and auto-increase features to retirement savings accounts boosts participation and contribution rates, according to new data released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The study advises that small changes to plan design can have big impacts on engagement, contributions and creating a company culture of financial wellness.

The report found that more than 97% of auto-enrolled employees don’t opt out of their 401(k). Further, the higher the default rate, the higher the levels of employee participation.

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Tags: employer digest, employer health benefits, health insurance small employers, solutions for employers, 401k, retirement, voluntary benefits

High deductible? These options could help you avoid expensive bills

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Aug 09, 2017 @ 08:08

How supplemental insurance can cover medical bills

High deductible health plans continue to rise in popularity, as more consumers try to minimize premium costs by choosing plans with more cost-sharing.

However, the trade-off is significant. In the event that you experience a high-cost healthcare incident, you will be responsible for all medical bills until you reach your deductible, and a portion of any remaining bills until you reach your out-of-pocket maximum.

This amount can easily surpass $6,000, and certainly not every consumer with a high deductible health plan has that amount stowed away.

There are a number of tips for minimizing costs for expected expenses, but accidents do happen. In some cases, enrolling in a supplemental insurance plan could protect you against large out-of-pocket costs.

Here are three options—critical illness coverage, hospital indemnity coverage and gap insurance, that could protect you from large out-of-pocket costs.

One important note about these options—it’s key to pay close attention to the details of any specific plan. Many have waiting periods, which means you can’t file a claim through them immediately after signing up. This is to incentivize you to sign up for coverage before you need it. Many also have exclusions, which means certain conditions or treatments might not be covered.

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Tags: individual digest, Individual health insurance, High Deductible Health Plan, deductible, health insurance deductible, high deductibles, hospital indemnity, gap coverage, voluntary benefits

Employees want customized benefits packages

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Apr 03, 2017 @ 10:04

ThinkstockPhotos-504753050.jpg

A defined contribution strategy can help you deliver

A recent study by LIMRA Secure Retirementfound that 73 percent of U.S. employees would like the ability to customize their benefits packages to suit their individual needs.

The study also noted that, with four generations currently in the workforce, this is becoming particularly challenging for employers. Millennials have very different needs than Baby Boomers, and designing robust packages that are attractive for all employers is requiring some creative thinking.

One way to achieve a more customized-benefit approach is by switching to a defined contribution strategy.

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Tags: employer digest, health insurance small employers, employer health plans, employer health benefits, Defined Contribution, Defined Contribution Plan, voluntary benefits, employers

Expand voluntary options, or increase wages?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 @ 09:03

Answering a common employer question

Are your ancillary benefit offerings meeting all of your employees’ needs?

Many employers offer dental, vision and life insurance, and maybe you have even tried to expand your offerings to meet more competitive standards—disability, accident or cancer insurance—but struggled to manage the paperwork or meet participation requirements. These challenges lead many employers to ask, why not just put additional funds straight into payroll?

With high deductible health plans growing in popularity, and out-of-pocket costs continuing to rise, there is more incentive than ever for employees to take on voluntary benefits like disability and critical illness coverage to help protect them should something bad happen.

If you are interested in expanding your options for employees, download our free case study to learn more. In it, we cover which benefits you can offer and how they function, as well as which challenges you may face.

But let’s answer that first question: Why not just increase wages?

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Tags: employer digest, health insurance small employers, employer health benefits, employer health plans, voluntary benefits, benefits

Benefits forecast: Pet insurance

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 @ 09:02

Should you offer your employees pet coverage?

About one in every three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance, the fastest-growing segment of the insurance industry.

The pet insurance segment grew 12 percent between 2014 and 2015 and is expected to continue growing, particularly as Millennials continue to enter the workforce and obtain leadership positions.

Some experts have drawn connections to the trend of Millennials delaying marriage to a rise in pet ownership and pet insurance needs.

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Tags: employers, solutions for employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employer plans, voluntary benefits, benefits, group benefits, employer health benefits

Benefit Forecast: Identity theft insurance

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 @ 09:01

Last year’s IRS decision expected to boost benefit adoption

Identity theft is the most common consumer complaint in the United States, and more employers are offering protection against it as a voluntary benefit.

According to Willis Towers Watson, 35 percent of employers offered identity theft protection in 2015, which could grow to nearly 70 percent by 2018.

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Tags: employers, solutions for employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employer plans, voluntary benefits, benefits, group benefits, employer health benefits

What employers should know about student debt repayment

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 @ 11:01

Highly sought perk expected to grow in 2017

Most employers don’t yet offer student debt repayment, but it’s already being called the hottest benefit of 2017. This highly-sought perk is increasingly popular with Millennial employees, many of whom have thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

In 2016, the average student debt load was more than $37,000. Nationally, the total student debt burden represents $1.3 billion.

Here are three things to know about student debt repayment:

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Tags: employers, solutions for employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employer plans, voluntary benefits, benefits, group benefits, employer health benefits

Which benefits should you offer in 2017?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 @ 09:01

Employers: Download our voluntary benefits forecast

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Tags: employers, solutions for employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employer plans, voluntary benefits, benefits, group benefits, employer health benefits

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