How Employers are Meeting Demands for Bigger, Better Voluntary Plans

The 2016 Employee Benefit News voluntary benefit survey shows that while 87 percent of employers have voluntary offerings, they hear appeals from employees to expand these benefit offerings. An Employee Benefit News article by Richard Stolz outlines survey results.

According to the article, the “high demand” voluntary benefits are dental, vision, STD, concierge services and hospital insurance (in that order). The report also showed that employee demand for dental, concierge services, supplemental health and loan/credit voluntary benefits appear to exceed actual offerings by employers.

Stoltz points out that not every demand for benefits can be met, even when employees bear the brunt of paying for it. Yet, many employers interviewed by EBN are not troubled by offering voluntary benefits that are only lightly utilized – provided, however, that they don’t become overburdened by administering the programs.

Affordability of voluntary benefits can be a determinant of employee utilization, and the role of effective communication is critical. What works? The majority of employers believe face-to-face meetings are very effective in getting the message across. A high percentage also believe bundling voluntary benefit communication with distribution of materials for core benefits boosts enrollment.

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