Results from the Aflac WorkForces Report 2016 that examines benefits trends and issues among employers and employees can help support your business efforts.
Five findings from the study can help drive your business, according to LifeHealthPro.com article.
- Your greatest competition may simply be a lack of awareness. Of companies not using a broker or consultant, 56 percent say it’s because their company works directly with their carriers or they have the benefits planning expertise in-house. Having trouble getting your foot in the door? The reason may be less about cost and more because your prospective client isn’t aware of the value you can bring. Although working directly with a carrier or planning in-house is a viable solution, many companies are improving their business with the help of a benefits advisor. The study found 7 in 10 employers use a broker or benefits consultant to determine their benefits options.
- It’s time to introduce your clients to private exchanges. Sixteen (16) percent of employers said that they’d moved their employee health insurance benefits to a private exchange in 2016 — up from 6 percent in 2014 and 2015. Online marketplaces such as can help clients with the heavy lifting of benefits administration such as coordinating between multiple carriers, which helps businesses to save on administrative costs. Through a private exchange, you can offer your clients multiple benefits options and a variety of voluntary products in one streamlined platform. Over the past several years, exchanges have been fine-tuning their services, and enrollment is only expected to increase. The timing couldn’t be better to start making them part of your sales strategy.
- Voluntary insurance can protect your clients’ bottom lines. Since offering voluntary accident insurance, 51 percent of employers noticed a decline in their workers’ compensation claims. Voluntary insurance can be offered to cover a variety of health events, including accidents, but also short-term disability, hospital visits, cancer and more. The study found that nearly 4 in 5 employees (79 percent) see a growing need for voluntary insurance today compared to last year, and these products may help with retention.
- Clients may need value-added services and are willing to outsource to get them. With the Affordable Care Act in place, employers took responsibility for reporting, tracking health benefits information, and complying with communication and other requirements of the law. They’re simultaneously keeping pace with the demands of their business, which means for many that there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep everything running smoothly. The Aflac study found that many businesses do not currently outsource benefits administration services, but many are interested in doing so. Employers expressed interest in outsourcing everything from wellness programs and health incentives to health advocacy for employees and IRS benefits reporting.
- Advisors need to be prepared to advise clients about the Cadillac tax. Even though the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans is several years away and regulations will likely evolve, employers are already thinking about the Cadillac tax and its potential effect on their benefits. Advisors should be ready to have candid discussions with clients about how to accurately calculate the Cadillac tax, debunk myths about whether voluntary insurance is included (most voluntary products are not because they are defined as HIPAA-excepted benefits) and determine whether their plans might trigger the tax.