According to a new LIMRA study, an equal percentage (30%) of employers ranked costs and benefit features as the top factor when choosing a carrier. Company reputation was third with 15% of employers choosing it as the most important consideration.
“Employers are not just focused on the bottom line, they are searching for the best value and experience for their employees,” said Mary Lesch, Ph.D., associate research director, Workplace Benefits.
Another important consideration for employers offering voluntary benefits programs is getting them up and running quickly, and without errors. The good news is that 76% of employers are satisfied or extremely satisfied with the implementation process, 83% with the claims process and 73% with ongoing service.
Speed and accuracy are also top of mind during the claims process. Minimizing the required documentation would help to streamline the process. New or improved online claims portals for employees would also simplify the process and provide much-needed support.
Using Technology Tools
Many employers and their employees have access to digital tools, however there remains a significant number of employers that don’t have them, but want them. More than 70% of employers report that their employees can access online educational materials, while an additional 26% would like their employees to have this ability.
“It’s important to note that this study was done prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. I think that some of the findings, particularly around technology, are even more relevant in the current landscape,” according to Lesch.
When it comes to digital tools available for employers’ use, 9 out of 10 have online billing and downloadable plan documents.
“Giving employers the tools they want, while also ensuring their initial quality is critical — it can be difficult to overcome a negative first impression. Quality enhancements may increase use, providing greater opportunity for carriers to demonstrate how they can help alleviate pain points,” notes Lesch.