Voluntary Benefits – A lifeline for the American worker

“Voluntary benefits have developed into a lifeline for the American worker, as employees seek to meet their needs for financial protection and benefits not provided as part of a group structure by employers.” - Rich Williams, senior vice president of growth markets at Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Co.

Voluntary Benefits - A lifelineIn a survey done by MetLife, nearly 40 percent of employees say a wide selection of benefits would make them feel more loyal to their employer, and 55.5% are willing to bear more of the cost in order to have a choice that meets their needs.

The top 4 Voluntary benefits for 2015 were:

  1. Life-Insurance
  2. Disability
  3. Dental
  4. Accident

With employee retention gaining importance to maintain the success of businesses, voluntary, employee-paid benefits give employers a way to offer a competitive benefits package without impacting their bottom line.

The problem is, voluntary benefit programs were previously primarily available to employees of large companies. Williams says, “Our research shows the concerns of their employees aren’t that much different than larger firms when it comes to personal finances. Employees in companies of all sizes tend to worry about having enough savings to retire, to cover an emergency or to cover being out of work if they’re injured or sick.”

Smaller employers no longer have to settle for small benefits packages. Here at FreedomCare, we have a large selection at different price ranges to fit an employer’s needs.

Telehealth – employee perk & innovative cost savings

Telehalth BlogTelehealth programs have the ability to connect patients with doctors no matter where they are located. Virtual visits, both by phone or online video chat, are more convenient and may be as effective as in-person doctor visits. Doctors and Therapists are able to diagnose and prescribe treatment without the patient having to leave their home.

The average number of telehealth visits per patient is 1.3 times per year. 5.6% of patients who used the virtual visits would otherwise have gone to an emergency department while 45.8% to urgent care. 83% of the conditions were resolved by a virtual visit. The most common diagnoses made during a telehealth visit are sinusitis, followed by cold/flu and UTIs.

These programs aren’t just convenient and cost-saving for employees. According to Modern Healthcare, “Advocates of the virtual-visit model argue that expanding access to telehealth services would reduce costs by heading off more expensive urgent care and emergency department care, and that consumers increasingly will substitute virtual visits for in-person visits.” This could mean fewer high-dollar urgent care and emergency room claims for an employer’s self-funded plan.

A 2014 Towers Watson survey found that 37% of employers planned to offer their workers telemedicine consultations in 2015, with another 34% planning to do so by 2017. FreedomCare has partnered with the leading telehealth providers to include unlimited 24/7 telehealth access, with many of our programs, to every employee at no additional cost. Give us a call to learn more.