A recent survey reported in the State of Employee Benefits 2017 Regional Edition concludes that voluntary insurance is a huge hit with employees. The survey revealed that employee participation in voluntary insurance programs has increased in regions nationwide with some variation among the regions as follows:
- Northeast participation increased by 59%
- South participation increased by 208%
- Midwest participation increased by 567%
- West participation increased by 138%
Popular Voluntary Benefits
The broader offering of high deductible health plans by employers was said to be a factor in their employees’ increased participation in voluntary benefits. Among the benefits that employers are inclined to offer are:
- Short-term disability insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Prescription drug coverage
- Dental insurance plans
- Life insurance plans
- Hospital supplemental policies
Of these benefits, critical illness insurance is the fastest-growing; a factor of both the nation’s aging workforce and the trend of employers shifting healthcare costs to their employees.
Other Valuable Employee Benefits
In addition to voluntary benefits, associated employee perks are also getting more attention from employers and employees. Chief among them are wellness programs that help employees’ better manage health risks and reduce their healthcare expenses. Included in these wellness programs are health screenings, discounts for fitness club memberships and healthy menu items in the company cafeteria.
Employers also are realizing that other benefits that help their employees become fiscally healthy are also valuable. Programs that teach financial literacy, provide financial counseling regarding retirement planning, savings and loans, all help lessen employees’ money-related stress which can often trigger health-related problems such as substance abuse, overeating, depression and failure to exercise.
For employers, offering high quality voluntary benefits in conjunction with other valuable employee benefits, results in a high return on investment associated with employees who are healthier, more productive and experience an overall higher morale