6 Popular Voluntary Benefit Programs to Consider in 2018
This year, unemployment has been at or near record lows, and in many industries, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain top talent. Employers are offering better pay and more comprehensive health benefits to keep their workers happy, but many go a step further by offering a package of voluntary worksite benefits. Voluntary benefits are programs that the employer provides access to, usually through a payroll deduction.
Providing voluntary worksite benefits is a cost-efficient way for employers to distinguish themselves from competitors in their industries. Employers are able to leverage their group purchasing power to offer these programs to workers at rates that are almost always lower than if they obtained it directly from a provider and some of these benefits may only be offered by employers. This means that even if employees pay 100% of the cost of the program, they still see it as a benefit because of the convenience and affordability of buying it through their employer.
Voluntary worksite benefits are no longer limited to traditional offerings such as dental, vision, group life and disability insurance. Fierce competition for talent and an increasingly diverse workforce are driving employers to add more programs to their voluntary benefits package.
Here are some of the most popular voluntary worksite benefits for 2018:
This insurance plan provides a benefit to employees who are injured in an accident (either on or off the job). The amount of the benefit depends on the severity of the injury, and benefit payments are made directly to the employee, which can be used to pay medical bills, personal bills, or cover any other expenses the employee may have.
Critical Illness Insurance
This insurance plan covers employees who are diagnosed with a severe illness that is on a list of predetermined illnesses as spelled out in the policy. If the employee is diagnosed with a covered illness, they may receive a lump sum payment or a series of payments over time, depending on the specific plan. Examples of conditions that may be covered include cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Americans are living longer than ever before, and with the Baby Boomers now entering retirement, a growing number of individuals will require ongoing medical care during their golden years. Long-term care insurance can provide coverage for nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care during retirement or if an employee becomes disabled. This product is typically included as an add-on to a life insurance policy in a voluntary benefits package.
College Tuition Assistance
The cost of college is spiraling out of control, and those in the Millennial generation and Generation Z are incurring record amounts of student loan debt. College tuition assistance programs can help offset these expenses by covering a portion of the cost of college for a child designated by the employee at participating colleges and universities.
Identity Theft Insurance
Data breaches are all over the news these days. It seems like every week, another major organization’s systems are hacked, exposing the private information of millions of consumers. It is nearly impossible for the average consumer to monitor what is happening on the “Dark Web”, which is why identity theft insurance is becoming more popular. Employees with ID theft insurance can rest easy knowing their private data is protected, and that they are insured in the event that their personal information is compromised.
Prepaid Legal Insurance
At some point in their lives, nearly everyone will need to consult an attorney. With prepaid legal insurance, the employee can receive legal guidance when they need it for a low fixed monthly rate. Services provided may include document preparation and review, attorney consultations, attorney-made phone calls, attorney-made letters written, discounted hourly rates, and discounted legal services.
Voluntary benefits give employees access to additional benefit plans (beyond what have traditionally been offered) to fit their specific needs. These benefit packages provide greater flexibility for employees to choose the plans they need the most. This helps foster goodwill between workers and management, which leads to a happier and more productive work environment.