You, like many others in the industry, have spent countless hours preparing clients for the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. With enrollment season in full swing, now is the time to take a comprehensive look at the other products in your clients portfolios to make sure other benefits dont get lost in the ACA shuffle.
To help make the most of open enrollment season and position yourself as a trusted resource for your roster of HR managers, here are a few focus areas to help strengthen your clients overall benefits.
Conduct a benefits inventory
A robust client portfolio doesnt just include major medical insurance disability and life insurance are both part of a strong employee benefits offering. Adding these benefits can help create a premier benefits package that can ultimately help attract and retain top talent.
Although many small business clients may think this second tier of offerings is out of reach, carriers are beginning to tailor disability and life insurance offerings for smaller companies with 500 or fewer lives. New options have recently come onto the market that are worth investigating.
For clients that are unable to provide group benefits, brokers can still add value by positioning voluntary benefits as an option. Developing a strong enrollment strategy for voluntary offerings can help ensure maximum participation and, potentially, guaranteed issue sales.
Uncover hidden gems
Many employees are unaware of the full suite of offerings that their benefits can provide. This is especially true if the benefits are fully employer-funded. You can position yourself as a trusted business adviser by helping your clients get a grasp on these additional offerings and understand how to convey them to their employees. Not only can these services help reduce employee health care costs but also can reduce the amount an employer would pay out of pocket for related services.
Investigate your product portfolio and help align services with related employee needs. This can include life and disability insurance products that may offer a range of extra services such as travel assistance, employee assistance programs, wellness education and ergonomic assistance components.
Carriers and industry groups have communication and education resources that demonstrate the value and potential of the coverage employers are providing to their workforce. Consider passing along tools such as the Council for Disability Awareness Personal Disability Quotient calculator and Earnable Income Quotient tools to help employees understand the financial impact of a disabling illness or injury.
Update your enrollment tactics
A benefits offering is only as strong as its enrollment strategy. Ensuring your preferred products are backed by online enrollment and a strong educational campaign can help increase sales and help clients decrease costs elsewhere.
Especially for clients that have young employee populations, it is crucial for brokers to find fresh, engaging ways to educate and assist employees about their benefits needs. For the millennial generation, that demands instant technology access and information right at their fingertips. Using an online educational module is an opportunity to inform them of the need for coverage and, in turn, encourage enrollment.
Industrywide educational initiatives, such as the CDAs Defend Your Income Campaign, can equip this generation to take the important steps necessary to preserve their ability to earn an income.
By assessing a few different components of your clients benefits packages, you can help them make smart decisions to set them up for success in the new year.
West is the director of product marketing for Standard Insurance Company. He is responsible for development and enhancement of The Standards group insurance offerings.
The Standard is the marketing name for the subsidiaries of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc.: Standard Insurance Company, The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York, Standard Retirement Services, Inc., StanCorp Mortgage Investors, Inc., StanCorp Real Estate, LLC, and StanCorp Equities, Inc.
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