Voluntary benefits are a great way to add variety and competitiveness to your benefits package without incurring large costs. A wide variety of voluntary benefits are available, some of them highly desirable, helping to attract new talent while also keeping your current team happy, healthy, and loyal. In Part 1 of this series, we covered seven of the most popular voluntary benefits on the market today, including dental insurance, telemedicine, and disability coverage. Here, we continue with another great set of benefits, providing a brief overview of how each one could benefit your employees and your organization as a whole.
- Financial Counseling
Finances are one of the largest stressors facing your employees, and stressed employees are unhappy, less productive, and more likely to develop health conditions or need time off. Between all of these factors, it is estimated that stress costs employers an average of $300 billion annually. Thus, it is in the best interest of your employees and your business to do what you can to keep stress at a minimum. One great way to help your employees worry less about their finances is by helping them to better understand those finances. Financial education and counseling can help employees learn to manage their money more effectively, as well as providing a valuable opportunity to ask questions and discuss important financial subjects with a trained professional.
- Student Loan Repayment Programs
Student loan repayment programs pay back a portion of an employee’s student loan debt on a monthly or annual basis. Your organization will agree to pay back a fixed amount of debt, typically over a set number of years or payments. As one would expect, this benefit is popular with millennials, especially since college graduates are now facing higher student loan debt than ever before. Implementing a student loan repayment program can help show that you understand your employees’ needs and are willing to lend them a helping hand.
- Career Development Opportunities
This term encompasses all sorts of opportunities, from certification programs to mentorships to job training and more. They can be a great chance for employees of all ages to expand their knowledge and skill sets, but are especially valuable for younger employees, many of whom are eager for chances to learn and grow and will appreciate being given the opportunity to do so. And of course, improving the skills, knowledge, and qualifications of employees also brings obvious benefits for you as an employer.
- Long-Term Care Insurance and Elder Care Services
The previous two points highlighted benefits of particular interest for younger employees. Looking towards the other end of the age spectrum, there is long-term care (LTC) insurance. This specialty insurance funds care for those who are elderly, disabled, and/or have chronic medical conditions. A wide variety of services can be covered under an LTC insurance plan, including nursing homes, assisted living, in-home care, various kinds of therapy, and assistance with day-to-day tasks such as getting dressed or preparing meals. Such services are not usually covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare, and the costs can be staggering when care is needed for more than a few months. Those who elect to pay entirely out-of-pocket can expect to spend about $140,000 on LTC annually, and given that 70% of 65-year-olds will require some form of LTC in the future – sometimes spanning many years – the question of how to pay for all this can cause a great deal of stress. Adding LTC insurance to your benefits program helps lessen that stress, providing affordable access to something that could make a huge difference for your employees later in life.
Elder care services are another great option, appealing both to older employees worried about the costs of their own medical care as well as younger employees worried about the cost of caring for their elderly parents or grandparents. Services like these are only becoming more relevant (and more in-demand) as the baby boomer generation grows older.
- Identity Theft Coverage
In today’s increasingly online, interconnected world, it’s easier than ever for your employees’ personal information to fall into the wrong hands. And when it does, the results can be financially devastating for the victim, not to mention highly stressful. Identity theft protection is a benefit that will help save your employees from the financial perils of identity theft, providing peace of mind and a valuable safety net should they need it.
- Legal Insurance
Research shows that while three out of every four Americans experience some sort of legal issue in a given year, few of them have plans for what they would do in such a situation. This lack of planning could leave them stuck with unexpected legal expenses and no good way to fund them. With legal insurance, employees can rest easier knowing that if they do end up facing some sort of legal dispute, they’ll be ready.
- Pet Insurance
Pets require medical attention just as people do, and this type of insurance can help pay for the cost of veterinary care. While it sounds a bit silly compared to some of the other benefits on our list, you may be surprised by how much value pet owners place in this type of coverage. Research by the American Pet Products Association shows that Americans spend more than $15 billion on vet care annually, with some bills easily costing thousands of dollars. Many pet owners see their animals as family, and are more than willing to front these kinds of bills, even if they aren’t in the best place to do so financially. Thus, adding pet insurance can be a great way of ensuring that the pet owners on your team stay financially sound, and that the pets they love stay happy and healthy.
Voluntary benefits are an excellent way of expanding your roster of group benefits without breaking the bank. If you are interested in crafting a competitive benefits package that will keep your employees happy, healthy, and financially sound, try adding some of these great benefits today.