By Thomas R. Giddens, Senior Vice President, Director of Sales, Aflac
More Americans are taking active control of their health care decisions. It’s no surprise then that voluntary benefits — once considered nontraditional, nice-to-have products — are more in demand by employees and employers alike looking for more benefit options.
By making voluntary insurance plans available, many organizations now realize they can enhance their core plan offerings and satisfy workers who want increased control over their income protection and financial safety.
So, how can agents and brokers put this information to work as part of a new business strategy while helping employers understand and seize the unprecedented opportunities they now have? Data and best practice advice can underscore the advantages of extending voluntary insurance to employees and reveal the most effective ways businesses can attain this increasingly business-critical necessity.
Positive Results of Offering Voluntary Insurance Benefit Options
The 2011 Aflac WorkForces Report has revealed quantifiable and evidence-based advantages not only for companies that offer voluntary options, but also for their employees who opt-in to such policies. Beyond the budget-friendly aspect of many voluntary benefits — they can also be offered at no direct cost to employers — companies receive rewards in the form of more satisfied, less-anxious, better-protected workers.
While the full findings of this report can be found at aflacworkforcesreport.com, a summary of the key findings reveals the following:
- Employees Want More Benefits Options: In stark contrast to HR decision-makers’ past assumptions, employees are interested in voluntary insurance plans. Sixty-six percent of employees say that if their employers did not provide the type and level of health insurance they desired, they would be willing to apply for additional insurance products to ensure adequate coverage.
- Voluntary Benefits Have a Profound Influence on Worksite Attitudes: More than half (59 percent) of workers say a company’s benefits package is extremely/very influential in its ability to attract and retain talented employees. Also telling is the fact that, when asked to name one thing their employers could do to keep them in their current jobs, 44 percent of workers said, “Improve my benefits package.”
- The Value Proposition Is Sinking In: Smart organizations are increasingly appreciating the far-reaching influence of strong employee benefits packages, even beyond keeping workers happy and on the job. Employers understand that enhanced packages for employees can translate into more referrals and a greater sense of pride and goodwill toward employers, all at no direct cost to them.
- More Companies Are Putting Voluntary Insurance Benefits to Work: By understanding the financial benefits of voluntary insurance for both their organizations and their workers, employers are putting policies such as critical illness, short-term disability, accident, life and dental to work. This sector is poised for more growth fueled by health care reform, which largely does not apply to voluntary insurance. Without a direct cost to them, employers can complement existing employer-paid benefits with voluntary products to satisfy workers’ needs for additional coverage, restructure current employer-paid benefits to include employee buy-up options, or even replace some employer-paid benefits with voluntary insurance plans to avoid eliminating benefits coverage altogether due to cost constraints.
By making voluntary insurance policies available, companies can enhance their benefits offerings, differentiate themselves from competitors, and provide workers with the additional coverage choices that best suit their needs. These types of supplemental insurance policies and ancillary benefits offerings will be a greater differentiator than ever before in the battle to attract and protect a talented workforce.
Savvy benefits sales pros will educate decision-makers about the myriad advantages of seizing voluntary insurance opportunities now to help companies bolster their insurance benefits with little impact on their bottom lines. Brokers and agents have unprecedented prospects for creating better-informed and appreciative clients, and using eye-opening benefits solutions, including voluntary insurance, education, and guidance, as strategic business tools. Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on today’s remarkable voluntary insurance sales opportunities, while helping employers not only look good but do the right thing for their employees and themselves.
Thomas R. Giddens joined Aflac in 1983 as assistant vice president in the Marketing department before serving in the field for more than 20 years. In 2007, Mr. Giddens' numerous achievements and contributions were recognized when he became the youngest member of the Aflac Sales Hall of Fame. During his tenure with Aflac, Mr. Giddens was assistant vice president in the Marketing department, regional sales coordinator and state sales coordinator of Georgia-North, and Southeast Territory director. Most recently he was appointed director of Sales.
For more information about Aflac, call 1-800-99-AFLAC (1-800-992-3522) or visit aflacforbusiness.com.