What are voluntary benefits?

Voluntary benefits often referred to as Worksite Marketing products, can be any type of additional benefit that is added to an employer’s menu of benefit options. These benefits may be provided through insurance products that can be classified as either core products or ancillary products.

Core Benefits
Core benefits typically consist of group major medical insurance, dental insurance and group term life insurance. Premiums for these core benefits are usually paid for by the employer, although in many cases at least a portion of the premium is paid for by the employees.

Non-Core Benefits
Non-core benefits can be broken down into ancillary and worksite products. Ancillary products are usually thought of as group short and long-term disability income coverage and optional group term life insurance.

The disability income products may be sold as an employer-paid benefit, a voluntary employee-paid benefit or as a combination of a base employer-paid benefit with an option for the employees to buy-up to a high benefit. Worksite products have historically consisted of a variety of individual insurance policies that are paid for entirely by the employee through payroll deduction. These policies may be life insurance policies, cancer insurance, accident insurance short-term disability income, critical illness and limited medical benefit plans. Today many carriers are introducing many of these same products on a group chassis so that they can offer lower premiums, guarantee issue of coverage and simplified enrollment procedures.

Non-insurance products
Due to the rise in cost for major medical coverage in recent years, there have been a number of non-insurance products introduced to the marketplace. Many of these products claim to provide medical benefits for an incredibly low premium such as $89 monthly to cover the entire family. Employers should take care when selecting one of these medical discount programs. It is easy for an employee to believe that they have medical coverage when in fact they do not.

Voluntary Worksite Marketing products today will often include offering both group and individual policies as well as ancillary coverage. The Voluntary Benefit Professional understands that in order to help an employer achieve his benefit goals it will require a better understanding of all products available.

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