Voluntary Benefits

In this age of rising benefit expenses and tighter bottom lines, no one would blame employers for looking for ways to enhance their employee benefit menu at little or no cost. For many companies, voluntary benefits have fulfilled that role over the years. But organizations often fall short in conveying the value that these offerings add to the total rewards package.

Voluntary Benefits are products such as life, disability, critical-illness and accident insurance, as well as pet coverage, ID theft protection, legal services and financial counseling offered through an employer but paid for partially or solely by workers through payroll deferral.

However, simply offering voluntary benefits does not necessarily raise employee satisfaction. Cardenas Insurance has taken a step by step process to ensure that voluntary benefits are recognized as adding value to the overall rewards mix.

Customizing to Employee Needs

There is a whole array of voluntary benefits an employer can offer. However, a well-tailored program that reflects the makeup of the workforce can be more effective. We help you select and design plans that will not confuse or overwhelm employees.

Employee demographics and behavior can also affect the overall impact a voluntary-benefit programs can have in general. “There is interest in optimizing these programs,”

Integrating with Core Benefits

It is not unusual for voluntary benefits to be a neglected part of the overall benefits program, particularly during open enrollment, when businesses are focused on helping employees understand and make choices about core benefit programs, like health care coverage.

However, another way to increase overall employee satisfaction is to integrate voluntary benefits as much as possible with employer-paid core benefit programs. It is important during the enrollment period by strategic communication that highlight logical connections between core employer-paid benefits and employee-paid benefits.

For example, an organization that pays for a baseline short-term-disability program could enhance the initiative by offering a voluntary, employee-paid layer of disability benefits. More important, the employer can emphasize that addition by communicating the voluntary program as it publicizes the core disability program.

Allowing for Personal Customization

Voluntary benefits can deliver advantages such as choice, convenience, and affordability. Employees can select from an array of options to customize their benefits package to fit their lifestyle. 

Making Sure Products Provide value

The best way to sour workers on any benefit program, particularly an employee-paid one, is to offer products that do not provide a clear and convenient benefit. In short, employees must be able to access and use the benefits they purchase when they need them.

Other voluntary benefits simply may offer the convenience of paying for them through a payroll deduction but not provide much in the way of savings. Cardenas Insurance will assist you with selecting plans that offer value and savings. Group Voluntary Life insurance provides guaranteed issue coverage and offers an important benefit to individuals who would pay more or even be excluded from coverage when purchasing a policy through the individual market.

Filling Coverage Holes

Voluntary benefits can also help fill coverage holes when an employer cuts back on or eliminates a specific benefit program. Given the changes brought by health care reform, employer cost shifting, increasing deductibles and the looming Cadillac tax, employees might value voluntary benefits more if these programs help them plug perceived gaps in their health care coverage.

Voluntary benefits can help fill in the gaps in out-of-pocket expenses. The goal is to help employees to reduce their financial exposure without them overextending themselves. 

Setting Goals

Generally, voluntary-benefits programs must be chosen, managed, and communicated with care to achieve the employer’s goals. Cardenas Insurance will assist in building a strategic and thoughtful message that focuses how these voluntary benefits fill a gap, provide savings, and convenience to employees. An approach your employees will appreciate. Many of these voluntary benefits are not available on the open market individually.