As the new year started, I watched the AFLAC duck attempt yoga on a tv commercial. AFLAC has done a great job at marketing with the duck. But I wondered, do people REALLY know how supplemental benefits work. The next couple months I will do a series of articles on the different carriers, defining the types of benefits available on a voluntary basis, how the plans are implemented and how benefits are paid. This first month, will focus on supplemental benefit basics.
Supplemental Voluntary Insurance: Definition…insurance products that employees can add to their basic (health, dental, life) benefits to meet employees’ needs. These benefits are offered by employers, but are usually paid completely by employees through payroll deferral. Traditional supplemental benefits include life, vision, dental, disability, cancer, accident and critical illness. These can be tailored by individual employees to meet their specific needs. As the work force changes, additional supplemental benefits options can include cyber protection, lawyer assistance, pet insurance, phone or computer insurance, financial planning along with personal benefits like wellness, discounts on event tickets and even dry cleaning delivery in certain markets.
No matter the offering, these types of benefits offer peace of mind for employees making them feel more valued by their employer at a minimal expense to the employee. Often, bundling a package of supplemental benefits through the employer is more cost effective than purchasing each benefit separately in the open market. Small employers can become more competitive among the corporate giants when offering an array of voluntary benefits.
Carriers for these types of benefits include AFLAC, Colonial Life, United Healthcare, Aetna and Humana. These carriers have all been providing health related benefits for many years. In addition are other carriers like LifeLock, Legal Shield, PetFirst pet insurance, possibly coordinating with a local college or programs for online learning and reimbursement. The options are endless.
Next month I will explore traditional voluntary benefits including accident, cancer, critical illness and disability in more detail. Are they valuable and if so to whom?
If you are an employer and would like to explore the possibility of adding voluntary benefits to your current lines of coverage, let Health Insurance Advsior, LLC assist with the options and implementation.
A little more about us:
The Business Warrior group has some of the industry’s top experts in all the areas your business needs to be successful. Amongst the contributors is Janis VanAhn, owner of Health Insurance Advisor, LLC. For 19 years Janis has worked in and around the health insurance industry initially providing service to agents and employers related to employee benefits, individual healthcare and Medicare, while more recently becoming appointed as an individual agent with various quality carriers to provide this service to individuals through her own business.
Four years ago Janis was ‘blessed’ with being let go from her job at an insurance agency. Staying within insurance was her path…but in what capacity. 2010 was the year Janis began her career as an independent insurance agent specializing in health insurance. Finding quality, cost-effective healthcare for individuals and families under age 65 as well as working with those who are Medicare eligible truly was her passion. She has made this a true specialty and positioned herself as someone to work with whether it is a financial professional or property & casualty agent with a client that needs assistance, to a group of seniors turning 65 and they keep receiving Medicare information and are confused about what to do.
Janis enjoys the one on one contact with clients as well as looking forward to speaking to groups about healthcare. Her excitement for this industry is what drives her to stay in tune with Healthcare Reform and what is currently happening and what will happen with coverage from now to past 2014.
‘Educating individual and Medicare consumers to make informed choices’ is her mission because if people are educated and understand, they will make informed choices that they are comfortable with.