Voluntary Benefits: The Cherry on Top

An ice cream sundae just isn’t the same without the shiny cherry, and while medical benefits are employee’s #1 priority, voluntary options make the complete benefit’s package more appealing.  As your full-service, benefits consultant, Valley Schools is here to help point you in the right direction on choosing the right voluntary plans for your organization. 

Ancillary or voluntary benefits are often products and services that employees would be unable to purchase on their own at a competitive price. By offering them as an employer, through Valley Schools, you are able to provide group plans with value-added services at highly competitive rates. Voluntary products enrich your overall benefit offerings, helping to attract and retain talent. 

Types of Voluntary Benefits

Employers can select multiple ancillary benefits. Here are some examples (but not an exhaustive list) of health and welfare voluntary benefits:

Critical Illness Insurance – Usually, a critical illness plan pays the insured a lump sum payment if the insured is diagnosed with certain covered illnesses, such as cancer, heart attack, kidney failure, or stroke.

Hospital Indemnity Insurance – A hospital indemnity plan pays a fixed amount of money for a hospital stay on a per-day, per-week, per-month, or per-visit basis.

Life Insurance – A common benefit, life insurance pays a fixed amount of money upon the insured’s death. Many life insurance policies also offer accidental death and dismemberment benefits, which pay fixed amounts in situations where the insured person dies or is dismembered due to an accident.

Legal Counseling – Legal benefits give employees access to qualified attorneys at no additional cost for covered legal matters, or, at a reduced cost for non-covered situations. Coverage usually applies to the most common personal legal matters including family, vehicle, real estate, civil lawsuits, and wills.

Disability Income Insurance – Disability income insurance is a wage benefit that replaces a portion of the insured’s wages if they are unable to work due to a disability.

Identity Theft Protection – Identity theft protection’s primary purpose is to monitor public records and alert the employee to any fraudulent use of their personal details, including attempted loans and credit applications. It also covers the cost of repairing a person’s credit history.

Pet Insurance – Few employees do not have a beloved pet. Pet insurance has become exceptionally popular in the last five years and it is a well-received benefit option by employees. Plans can range in price depending on a deductible selection (similar to our human medical coverage) and the number of pets and their age. 

In addition to the benefits listed above, there are standalone wellness programs, employee assistance programs, home, renters and auto insurance and more!

Know the Rules 

Most employers rollout voluntary benefits alongside their core benefits during open enrollment. Once employees sign up, they’re often locked into paying for the benefit for the plan year. If either employee or employer terminates employment, most insurers allow a group policy to be converted to an individual policy, but some require a new application, which can bump up the premium cost. 

Additional Coverages

There are certain voluntary coverages that can be provided to employees outside of open enrollment. Home, auto, or renters insurance are one example, as is pet insurance.  We recommend employers take the time to strategize voluntary product rollouts to best meet their population’s culture and needs which assist with favorable enrollment and plan stability. 

At Valley Schools, our holistic approach to voluntary benefits drives improved outcomes by defining customer needs; engaging in competitive program marketing to find “Best in Class” vendors and carriers and secure superior discounts; establishing performance goals; and, monitoring results with a focus on maximizing value and employee satisfaction. Our goal is to provide aggressive negotiation and strategic plan design for our clients.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your voluntary benefits offerings!