By Terry Reams and Donald R. Tardif
For many employers, large and small, the benefits question continually gets harder to answer every year. “Which benefits do I offer and how much can I afford to pay for them?”
In the face of continuing large medical increases, most employers have already cost-shifted a significant portion of the premiums to their employees. Combining this with current economic conditions, employers are making significant efforts to better manage the bottom line. This includes making additional benefit cost cuts through more cost-shifting or even program termination.
However, the old adage has it right: “With every gray cloud, there is always a silver lining.”
Simply put: Despite the current benefit chaos, there has never been a better time to present multiple voluntary program options to employers. This is the best method for providing comprehensive benefit offerings at a lower or no-cost approach.
Which voluntary program(s) to present as the available options? Try offering multiple options to all employer groups.
Granted, multiple product marketing can sometimes be tricky. Therefore, to maximize the overall marketing effort, try taking a methodical approach to evaluating potential sales levels within any group. Here is the strategy:
1. Identify specific coverage gaps.
2. Review employee census data to determine different occupational categories and their availability to fund additional products.
3. Determine recent or upcoming benefit level and/or premium changes.
Then balance these findings with the information in the chart on this page. In our firm, we use this to remind ourselves of what we have found to be the pros and cons of specific voluntary programs within a multiple marketing arrangement.
As the chart illustrates, one of the best products to sell at the worksite continues to be universal life insurance programs. This assessment is based on our own results plus current industry environmental factors.
A particular trend influencing UL sales right now is the reduction in levels of employer-paid group term insurance.