During this past fall, we conducted our annual benefits communication and enrollment period for a long-time client. We have been partnering with this particular organization, a New England-based health system, for about 14 years.
Following our most recent campaign, I reflected on how our evolving relationship with this client over the years has paralleled the changes the voluntary benefits industry has experienced during the same period of time.
Like many health care employers, our client began its voluntary benefits program with a single life insurance plan to enhance its overall benefits package and offer its employees additional financial security.
Since implementing that life insurance plan, the client has experienced many changes. It has acquired entities and become a much larger health care system. As its needs have grown over the years, so too have the services we provide for them, including:
- Voluntary benefits communication/enrollment/service/administration: Expanded to also include critical illness and accident insurance, both of which have been rolled out throughout the entire system, including a recently acquired facility.
- Web-based benefits enrollment and administration tool: Implemented throughout the system to streamline these functions during open enrollment and throughout the entire year.
- Core benefits education: Conducted during each annual open enrollment period, including face-to-face education and customized materials.
- New hire benefits onboarding: Facilitated by our client service call center to relieve human resources of this ongoing responsibility and provide new employees with individualized attention.
This organization’s story is a great example of how employers can take advantage of voluntary benefit offerings. Not only have voluntary benefits been the catalyst for the menu of additional communication and enrollment services that we now provide there, but they have also been a very significant factor in making them financially feasible for the organization.
Similar to employees’ sentiments on voluntary benefits at other groups nationwide, in the face of climbing healthcare costs this organization’s employees appreciate their employer making these programs available to complement their medical coverage.
Once considered a nice-to-have employee option by many employers, the voluntary benefits industry has taken on far greater importance with employers – and employees alike – all over the country.
Doug 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.
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