We are in a unique era of voluntary benefits. As technology innovation gains steam, there has been a massive proliferation of health and wellness consumer products and applications that have been developed with the intent to help individuals gain access or coverage to a wide range of services. And what better way for the developer of a new product to gain scale than convince employers to offer these products on a voluntary benefit chassis?
It was only a short time ago that voluntary benefits were primarily the domain of life, disability and vision with accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity not far behind. As carriers began to see the revenue these products were generating alongside with the employee satisfaction, additional product offerings emerged – including coverage for pet insurance, legal services and identity theft.
Well fast forward to 2019 and the innovation is moving at breakneck speed. College guidance, meditation / mental health, financial wellness, college debt repayment, fitness studio networks, claims advocacy, eldercare assistance, infertility services, and on and on. The number of voluntary products that are now available is overwhelming. And there is a flood of venture capital money fueling the growth of this sector.
All the expansion of voluntary benefits is making the role of an astute consultant that much more important. Employees value choice but too much of anything creates paralysis. It is vital that benefit teams are working closely with their brokers in ensuring the appropriate mix and quality of products are being availed to their employees. If deployed correctly voluntary benefits can be a huge attraction and retention vehicle for any organization.