Group health insurance: What are voluntary benefits?

“I volunteer as tribute!”

Okay, voluntary benefits aren’t quite a fight to the death to see which of your employees gets the best insurance plan. However, if your company does already offer group health benefits, offering voluntary benefits can give you a bigger fighting chance when recruiting top talent. It will also give you a hand in creating an environment full of happy, healthy, and therefore, loyal employees. Here’s how.

What Are Voluntary Benefits?

Voluntary benefits are, simply put, benefits that fall outside of the scope of typical health insurance plans. Since health insurance deductibles have increased a lot in the past few years, many employers have started considering voluntary benefits to help their employees cover the gaps that they otherwise can’t afford through health insurance.

What Are the Most Common Voluntary Benefits?

Some voluntary benefits you may have heard of already. The most common ones you’ll find are:

  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Short & Long-term life insurance

Contrary to popular belief, none of these are offered through a typical health insurance plan. However, these additional benefits are offered so frequently that it has almost become a given in terms of an employee benefit program.

Like group health insurance, you may not be required by law to offer voluntary benefits, but the more choice you give as an employer, the better choices you’ll have to choose from when you’re hiring and the more influence you’ll have in keeping good employees.

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What Are Other Types of Voluntary Benefits?

With the rise of millennials in the workforce, tons of new types of voluntary benefits have sprouted up in order to cater to a wider variety of workers. These benefits are usually made more to fit the lifestyle of the person who participates, rather than to offer them a conventional type of additional coverage. So, some of the more unique voluntary benefits your business can offer are:

  • Pet insurance
  • Corporate Wellness Programs
  • Short & Long-Term Disability
  • Financial counseling
  • Identity theft insurance
  • Student Loan Assistance
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Legal Services
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Hospital indemnity insurance
  • Partnered retail discounts
  • Concierge services

Because of the range of choices these benefits give your employees, you’ll look more appealing as an employer by contributing to your workers’ work/life balance. Plus, offering voluntary benefits isn’t just beneficial to your employees. It could also help you increase your bottom line.

Why Should I Offer Voluntary Benefits?

Stated simply, voluntary benefits don’t have to cost a business anything to add to their benefit plans. The money for voluntary benefits comes from the employee’s paycheck. So, for a program that doesn’t have to cost you anything, voluntary benefits can pay off majorly.

But what does this mean for your employees? Well, since the benefit is offered by an employer, employees get a group rate on each type of plan. So even though the cost of the benefit comes out of an employee’s paycheck, the cost is a lot cheaper than if they were to participate in these programs outside of work. Additionally, since the perks are voluntary, each employee gets to choose the type of benefit they want without paying for the ones that they don’t want.

Offering this menu of benefits is also proven to improve company morale. By contributing to programs that improve the day-to-day lives of your employees, they’ll see that you, as a business owner, care about your employees’ financial and physical well-being.

What Kind of Voluntary Benefits Should I Offer?

It all depends on your employees! Every person that works for you has unique needs and lifestyles that may or may not benefit from each type of offering.

If you want to remain competitive, you’ll want to consider adding at least the most common voluntary benefits (vision, dental, life, etc) to your hire package. Any other benefits will depend on your office culture and the people who work for you. So, consider carefully the needs and wants of your employees, the partnerships you’re able to secure, and what your company’s budget allows.

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Our agents are professionals in identifying all the little details for benefits that fit your company, and we’re here to help with your insurance needs. Call us today at 770.497.1200 or fill out our online quote form to start comparing plans that your employees will love.