In part two of a two-part blog series Robert Winslow, principal of Elm Street Partners, continues his blog about some of the opportunity that the new health care legislation has brought apart.

Supplemental Coverages. PPACA accelerates a market change that has been evolving for some time, one that sees real business growth from supplemental coverages versus the base health plan. Supplemental products have come a long way in recent years, both by voluntary carriers and group carriers who have become more adept and creative in developing a broad spectrum of products to meet employee needs and support employers’ benefits strategies.

Employees expect workplace benefits, and a broad benefits package gives one employer the edge over another as they compete for top talent. Despite the worry around escalating health care costs, employers should not shy away from offering workplace benefits. Rather, broader benefit offerings should be viewed as a competitive advantage, even a strategic tool to help deal with health plan cost increases.

Critical illness, hospitalization and accident supplements enjoy high subscription rates with relatively stable premiums over time. They also enhance the benefits of a health plan, making the entire program look and feel richer. Pet insurance? Don’t laugh. (You won’t if you’ve already bought it for your own pet.) People spend a lot of money on their pets these days, and they don’t question multiple surgeries if there’s a chance their furry friend will get well.

The goal isn’t to over-insure.  The goal is to meet real employee needs by providing additional coverages that make sense, especially when the out-of-pocket cash requirements of health plans increase and loss of income due to serious illness becomes a reality.

Explore the supplemental insurance products out there. Say yes when that sales rep calls with something new to discuss. Establish strategic relationships with quality carriers that can deliver the products and support systems you need, and partner with those that value you and your relationships.

All of this work will pay off when you sit down with your clients to discuss their options. They’ll appreciate the legwork you’ve done to bring them the best carriers, service providers and concepts that work for them.

Reaching Out. PPACA is the best reason you’ve ever had to sit down and engage with clients and prospects about their workplace benefit plans. For employers with a benefits strategy already in place, your role is to provide expert counsel, develop solutions that support their long-term strategy and help them execute on their plan. Other employers haven’t gotten that far. This is your chance is to help them resolve their concerns, address near-term needs and become their trusted advisor for the long-term. 

With a confident, proactive approach, you’ll find a wealth of opportunity in PPACA.

Winslow is principal of Elm Street Partners, a group benefits consulting firm.

 

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