In December, I blogged about how voluntary benefits can help employers increase employees’ comfort level with CDHPs. 

For example, studies have shown that employees are generally uneasy about high out-of-pocket medical cost exposure.  They appreciate having voluntary programs such as accident, cancer or critical illness Insurance to help supplement their CDHP coverage in the event of high dollar, unexpected claims.

In addition, voluntary benefits provide an opportunity for employers to communicate a CDHP’s features and advantages to employees.  During face-to-face or call center enrollment sessions, a licensed benefits adviser from a third-party communications partner can discuss the CDHP, an accompanying health savings account  and illustrate how the voluntary programs provide valuable complementary coverage. 

As a follow-up to my original blog, I’d like to share a brief “real world” example where effective communication and voluntary benefits helped boost participation in a client’s CDHP.

The client, a technology products manufacturer, offered three medical plans to its employees: a CDHP/HSA and two POS designs.  The CDHP had the lowest participation of the three, and the client sought to increase membership in the plan during its open enrollment.

In addition, the client wanted to enhance its core benefits package with a menu of voluntary programs.  We worked together with the client and its consultant to assess the existing benefits and develop a complementary voluntary benefit offering that included permanent life, accident and critical illness insurance.

During the open enrollment, our benefits representatives conducted one-to-one meetings with employees to educate them about the CDHP/HSA, including its features, tax advantages and employer contribution.  They also clearly illustrated how the accident and critical illness plans’ benefits can help employees pay out-of-pocket costs such as a deductible and coinsurance.

Following the enrollment – without material changes to plan designs or contribution levels – membership in the CDHP grew by nearly 300%!  As CDHP offerings continue to expand, effective communication and voluntary programs can help employers meet their participation goals.

Mantz is Vice President of Sales at The Farmington Company, a national provider of benefits communication and voluntary benefits services. He has over 20 years of industry experience, including on the carrier side. Doug is a published author and has spoken on a variety of industry topics. He is a graduate of Boston College with degrees in Economics and Sociology. He can be contacted at or 1-800-621-0067, x6703.


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