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Voluntary benefits: How they work and why they're important

Employee participation in voluntary coverage is on the rise across the nation. In the 2017 benefit year, voluntary coverage increased by 138% in the West, 567% in the Midwest, 208% in the South, and 59% in the Northeast, compared with the previous benefit year.[1]

Those are substantial increases, and this usage spike makes it more relevant than ever for organizations to understand what voluntary coverage is, how it can help round out employee benefits portfolios, and how LifeMap can come in and support them.

What is voluntary coverage?

Voluntary coverage is group ancillary and supplemental insurance that’s offered in addition to health plan benefits, and at the more affordable group-rate price. Voluntary coverage is either fully or partially paid by the employee.

These voluntary offerings range from products that complement a company’s medical offering—like vision, dental, critical illness and accident—to ancillary coverages—like life insurance and short term and long term disability insurance. All of them provide peace of mind and help with expenses should the unexpected occur.

How does voluntary coverage help employers and employees?

When thinking about why voluntary coverage may be the right choice for your organization, you can focus on the following things:

  • Cost savings for employers
    If you decide to offer voluntary coverage that’s paid entirely by the employee, then you'll save on the monthly premium costs. And even if you decide to pay a portion of the premium, you still benefit from employees sharing in the payment.

  • More affordable coverage for employees
    Because voluntary coverage is offered through the organization, employees get the benefit of more affordable group rates, and convenient payroll deductions, often using pre-tax dollars. This increases the likelihood that they’ll opt for additional coverage.

  • Increased employee engagement
    Employees gravitate toward voluntary coverage because it gives them the power and control to determine which types of supplemental benefits work best for them and their families. You simply choose the type and amount of coverage that will be paid by you, and then let employees round out their insurance portfolios with voluntary coverage.

Why should employers choose LifeMap for voluntary coverage?

Through LifeMap, you can offer voluntary benefits which are either paid for 100% by the employee, or through a shared premium. This provides flexibility in deciding which route makes the most sense for your organization. 

LifeMap also has coverage options for groups with as little as two employees, so it is nimble and adaptive enough to support large and small groups.  

If you have any questions about how LifeMap and voluntary coverage works, you can visit our website or contact your LifeMap sales representative.