As an employee benefits broker, you do your best to advise clients and make recommendations in their best interest. However, we all know that clients don’t always heed that good advice, for one reason or another.
Ancillary benefits is one of the areas where employers are falling short on broker recommendations (and employee demand). While you may emphasize the advantages of offering a more comprehensive and competitive benefits package, your clients don’t always follow through. In this blog we’re going to look at two common reasons that employers opt not to add ancillary benefits, along with strategies to overcome those obstacles.
Employer concerns about rising costs and market uncertainty
The state of the health care/health insurance market is uncertain and chaotic, and there is no resolution in sight. It seems that the only certainty for employers these days is that health care costs will continue to rise.
These concerns can play a role in an employer’s decision to offer ancillary benefits. They may be reluctant to fund more benefit options, or focused solely on their major medical plan options. However, there are many benefits to offering ancillary coverage options, including the following:
- Employers don’t always realize that ancillary benefit options can be provided with little or no cost for the company. In many cases, employees just want the access and convenience of purchasing additional benefits through the employer—and are willing to pay the full cost.
- Today, a comprehensive benefits package is a must-have for employees. A recent Glassdoor survey shows that 48% of employees would change jobs for more benefits and 80% would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. Providing additional benefits makes it easier to recruit top individuals, and keep existing employees happy and engaged.
- Providing ancillary benefit options can actually reduce overall health care costs for the employer. For instance, regular dental and vision check-ups can reveal health problems that will become serious and costly if left untreated.
Brokers aren't presenting ancillary benefits effectively
Another major reason employers are opting out of ancillary coverage relates to how the broker introduces the topic. Often, the broker will guide the employer through the primary health plan decisions, and then mention ancillary as an afterthought. Because the employer has just made plan design and contribution strategy decisions, they may not want to extend their renewal talking about additional benefits.
The solution here is to discuss ancillary coverage options as part of a larger benefits package discussion. Integrate medical and ancillary options into your analysis and presentation, so employers can have just one budget discussion, and easily see the impact to their bottom line.
If these strategies resonated with you and you’re aiming to sell more ancillary products, check out this ebook on the topic.