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Voluntary Benefits Are Now Necessary Benefits: Providing More Options to Employees Without Increasing Your Costs

*Excerpted from the ebook Voluntary Benefits are Necessary Benefits: How You Can Provide Affordable and Personalized Employee Benefits without Increasing Costs

Your most valuable assets are your employees. And your largest expense? Most likely, also your employees. 

Rising health care costs, health care reform, and the impending Cadillac Tax are causing employers to rethink their benefits strategy and embrace voluntary benefits as a means to attract and retain top talent. Voluntary benefits can help employers provide added incentives to employees without having to allocate additional dollars to their budget.

Voluntary benefits can: 

  • Provide more choices to meet the needs of your workforce
  • Support the health and wellness of your employees and their families
  • Help employees reduce out-of-pocket expenses
  • Add value at little-to-no cost

VB and Workers Comp Call outMost employers realize the importance of securing the loyalty and retention of existing employees, improving productivity and remaining competitive. And employees agree that they're more productive during work hours and think more highly of their employer if they're offered a range of benefits, including voluntary benefits [1]. Knowing this, 68% of employers said they plan to re-evaluate their benefits strategy to offset the impact of healthcare reform [2].  

Voluntary Benefits: The Solution 

Historically, ancillary benefits have provided companies with a cost-effective and personalized suite of products, but in today's environment where employees and their families are likely to incur more out-of-pocket expenses, voluntary benefits can also serve as a means to empower the employee with choice - driving the consumerization of benefits.

Today's shift to consumer-driven health plans has placed more importance on engaging voluntary strategies. In fact, 40% of employers report they are preparing to shift to consumer-driven healthcare plans (CDHPs) in order to avoid the 2018 Cadillac tax; and 44% plan to consider a CDHP with voluntary benefits in the next three to five years (see Understanding an HSA and its Benefits and More Employers Turn to Private Exchanges to Manage Healthcare Costs).

Voluntary benefits can include any one or more of the following products at little or no additional employer cost:


  • Hospital Indemnity
  • Accident
  • Critical Illness/Cancer
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Care
  • Long-Term Care
  • Worksite Wellness


  • Pre-Paid Legal
  • Life
  • Identity Theft
  • Short- and Long-Term Disability
  • Accounting Services


  • Auto and Homeowners
  • Pet Insurance
  • Travel
  • College Tuition Benefits
  • International Medical

Why Implement Voluntary Benefits? 

Voluntary benefits like those described above are available to employees through their personal election. They contribute to an employee's work-life balance, are cost efficient and portable. Today's employers are including voluntary benefits as a vital component of their overall employee benefits strategy because:

  • They can be 100% employee paid with premiums paid via pre-tax payroll deductions
  • Most prices for policies are locked in once issued and will not go up in cost - so there is no annual renewal
  • The employer provides the benefit options from which employees select only those most relevant to their needs
  • Benefits administration is streamlined by automatically deducting the cost through payroll deductions

Remaining competitive, attracting and retaining top talent and ensuring the financial well being of employees can be supported through a comprehensive voluntary benefits program. But, which options are the best match for your employee base? Download the complete ebook A Fresh Look at Voluntary Benefits or contact your HUB Employee Benefits consultant for an assessment of your current benefits strategy and for a customized list of voluntary benefits that can empower both you and your employees. 

[1] LifeHealthPro “Employees Favor Companies That Offer Voluntary Benefits,” Warren Hersch (July 2013), quoting a WellPoint Survey.
[2] Deloitte (2012). 2012 Deloitte Survey of US Employers: Opinions About the US Health Care System and Plans for Employee Health Benefits
[3] REPORT: Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2012. National Academy of Social Insurance (August 2014)