With constant media attention on gaps in health care coverage and the financial strain caused by major illnesses and accidents, you might take it for granted that human resources professionals and business owners understand the need for voluntary insurance benefits. But many do not. Distracted by other concerns, they are likely to raise objections that you may need to overcome quickly.
It helps if you are prepared with answers when you sit down to talk about the voluntary insurance benefits you offer them.
We recently surveyed a group of successful worksite agents to identify key objections and the answers they found to be most helpful in selling a case. Perhaps these responses might be helpful to you, the next time you face a challenging sales interview.
Objection no. 1: “I don’t want to get involved in selecting coverage levels, and I can’t afford to have our limited staff administer a voluntary program on top of everything else.”
Your response: I understand your concerns. With group products, employers need to play an active role in selecting and administering each plan. This includes selecting the products to be offered, setting up payroll deduction and paying premiums to the insurance company. It also includes administering the plan, which involves enrolling new hires, certifying eligibility for claims and maintaining billings.
However, with individual voluntary products, employers have few responsibilities. Their primary role is to provide access to employees during lunchtime or breaks so they can learn about the additional coverage options, and elect to enroll. You may also choose to set up payroll deduction of premiums, but that is not always required. For example, your employees can authorize a deduction of a premium directly from a personal bank account, otherwise referred to as “employee non-payroll.”
Objection no. 2: “Some of our employees are in bad health and won’t qualify for coverage.”
Your response: Yes, with individually underwritten products, employees who have serious health issues may be excluded from coverage. But, that is even more reason to begin offering the products now. Don’t wait until the next open enrollment. We don’t want someone else to fail to qualify because we waited 30 days.
Another alternative is to use group-underwritten products, which typically are offered on a guaranteed-issue basis, covering all employees, including those with underlying health conditions. GI is attractive to employers wanting to ensure that all employees are eligible for some level of coverage. Typically, minimum participation is required for GI coverage. The standard level is 20% to 25% of the eligible population, depending on the size of the employer. Voluntary group products often used to complement core benefits include short-term disability, critical illness, and universal life.
Objection no. 3: “I want to survey my employees first to see if they are interested.”