The key to an effective ancillary benefit strategy is filling core health insurance gaps by understanding and matching the needs and demographics of a particular client with available benefit options. A Little Perspective As healthcare costs in the post-pandemic environment continue to rise and employers are facing the difficult challenges of hiring and retaining talent in a candidate-driven market, benefit specialists are looking for creative ways to enhance their company’s employee benefit package. Intuitively, many consultants have built solutions around ancillary benefit programs, which have gained significant traction over the years. Despite the abundance of ancillary benefit programs, many fail to achieve the desired levels of employee appreciation and utilization due to poor planning, improper design, and lack of effective communication. With a shift in current employee needs and focus, offering a simple life and disability program no longer placates the general employee population. Understanding today’s diverse range of employee demographics and education levels in combination with the widespread demand for technology-based solutions are keys to achieving beneficial results. Employers should seek to satisfy the diversity of medical and service needs today’s employee requires. To be truly effective, the benefit professional needs to design a client’s ancillary program around each employer’s specific workforce, taking into account their dynamic, evolving healthcare needs, service interests, and willingness to use products that might be innovative and lesser known. Employee availability to ancillary benefits has been historically linked to employer size, industry type, and geographic locale. In recent years, however, these benefits have gained importance as a differentiator among employers, requiring even the smallest of companies to package the right mix of ancillary coverages in order to successfully achieve their business goals.
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