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January 2023 Edition

Employers harness voluntary benefits to attract new workers, retain employees

With record-high inflation reducing buying power for workers nationwide, more employees are choosing voluntary benefits to help cover traditional insurance coverage gaps.

In a recent survey, 63 percent of employees say they are more likely to sign up for voluntary benefits such as critical illness, hospital indemnity, disability income and accident insurance.1 For workers with children, the percentage is 76 percent, up from 52 percent just a year ago.1

Voluntary benefits help stretch the employee’s hard-earned paycheck further while providing an extra layer of protection. This is increasingly important with rising health care costs,2 recent drops in life expectancy to the lowest levels in 25 years,3 and a record-setting illness season with what’s being called a “tripledemic.”4

Corporate net losses from the pandemic could hit $4.8 trillion

It hasn’t helped that the country’s inflation surge is occurring on the heels of a global pandemic that inflicted economic damage on businesses AND employees. Corporate net losses from the pandemic could range from $3.2 trillion to $4.8 trillion in U.S. real gross domestic product.5

Moreover, 38 million5 stressed employees left their jobs during the Great Resignation, which has resulted in companies aggressively pursuing candidates to fill those open requisitions with superior voluntary benefits.

Voluntary benefits a win/win

Typically, voluntary products are benefits paid for by employees. They not only provide much-needed protection for employees and increase loyalty by strengthening an employer's benefit package, but also do it at little to no expense to the employer.

In a benchmarking study,5 participants noted that attracting (46 percent) and retaining (52 percent) top talent were 2022's top operational priorities. Furthermore, 25 percent of respondents wanted to use voluntary benefits to address those priorities. Most employers expect higher participation rates in the years ahead due to the pandemic.5

Consistent communication is essential for voluntary benefits adoption

Finally, one of the biggest challenges for employers in this post-pandemic era is keeping workers informed of their options. The good news is that these employees and job candidates are more open to choosing voluntary benefit products that’ll help protect their family’s health.6 Consistently communicating the value of the employer’s voluntary benefits is essential for success.

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Supplemental health insurance empowers employees to prepare for unexpected expenses with little or no cost to employers. We help employers build a successful supplemental health benefit program, to meet the needs of diverse workforces.

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1. Mayer, Kathryn. “What’s behind the growing interest in voluntary benefits.” Human Resource Executive, November 28, 2022.

2. Diamond, Frank. “U.S. employers brace for healthcare costs to rise next 3 years.” Fierce Healthcare, September 16, 2022.

3. Jiaquan Xu, M.D., Sherry L. Murphy, B.S., Kenneth D. Kochanek, M.A., and Elizabeth Arias, Ph.D. “Mortality in the United States, 2021.” CDC, December, 2022.

4. Walker, Amy Schenfeld. “Just how bad Is the ‘Tripledemic’?” The New York Times, December 16, 2022.

5. Egleston, Richard. “How voluntary benefits have gone from important to critical.” BenefitsPRO, September 15, 2022.

6. Traynor, Marty. “Voluntary benefits and gas prices.” BenefitsPRO, July 13, 2022.

DOFU 1-2023