Oct 27, 2015

Offering Voluntary Benefits: A Strategy for Better Cost Control

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Open enrollment is rapidly approaching and employers are looking to a variety of voluntary benefits to bolster employee benefit packages and fill the gaps left by high-deductible health plans.

Because of rising health costs and efforts to avoid triggering the Cadillac tax — the health care reform law’s 40% excise tax on the portion of health care premiums that exceed $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage starting in 2018 — voluntary benefits are increasingly being seen by brokers and employers as necessary.

Here at AWANE, we realize that several factors in the market create a trend towards more employers offering more and more voluntary benefits. Offering voluntary benefits is a strategy for better cost control in the face of rising premiums. Employers can sometimes attempt to control these costs by offering employees higher deductible health insurance plans.

One of the greatest use of voluntary benefits is to “round out” a medical plan with options such accident insurance and a hospitalization plan. Benefits such as these compliment a traditional health plan.

As the Cadillac tax prompts more employers to reduce or eliminate flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements, voluntary benefits can be used to help soften that blow if they are offered on a post-tax basis.

Voluntary benefits offer employers an opportunity to continue to have great coverage even if it appears on the surface that the plans offered may not be as “rich.”

For 2016, AWANE is offering Voluntary Accident and Critical Illness benefits to our members. We are still offering the same great medical coverage with best in class access, networks, and carrier, but wanted to enrich the benefit offerings for our members at a time when many organizations are trimming down their benefits. The net result is a big win for our members because individuals have products available to them to “fill in the gaps” if accidents or critical illness threaten financial stability.

Our goals: 

  1. Integrate AWANE Voluntary Plans with current medical plans
  2. Members can use the plans for everyday situations such as accidents, ER visits, recovery, and more
  3. Coverage is affordable
  4. Provide a benefit for the top 5 critical illnesses
  5. Exclusively offered to member companies and their employees

AWANE continues traditional products such as dental, vision, and integrated short and long term disability. The voluntary program is built to further protect our members and their employees.

Voluntary benefits also allow us the opportunity to stay in touch with members and promote wellness initiatives such as the AWANE Wellness Rewards during open enrollment. At AWANE, regular communication is highly important to us, as we always want to keep our members up to date with industry news and updates, and tips on utilizing our great programs.

We are proud to continually offer rich benefit programs for our members, even in these uncertain times of rising medical costs and confusing legislation. it is just another example of how hard our team works to protect our members always.

We encourage you to contact us so we can review your current strategy so you can join our “power in numbers.” Also, visit the AWANE website for more information about all of our programs.