SHORT AND LONG-TERM DISABILITY
• If employees cannot work, they cannot pay bills, rent, or mortgage.
• Short-term disability pays a fixed percentage of income, up to a stated maximum per week.
• Pregnancy leave for females is covered by Short-Term Disability, which makes this a “no-brainer” for the employer.
Long-term disability insurance is more expensive, and there can be underwriting (medical questions). The benefits are substantial, and form a combination for those that become entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
The group health insurance market will remain difficult, creativity is a must.
• The individual market is so difficult, employees are coming to employers as the only practical path to obtain health insurance. This is creating pressure on employers, large and small.
• Small group market (< 50 eligible) has flexible plan options, so that employees can choose a plan that fits their budget • Flexible plan options allow employers to determine and plan their cost commitment over time • Cost commitment can be either in a stated percentage or dollar amount on an annual basis • Flexibility allows employers to spend funds for benefits, to the benefit of the widest range of employees.
A NEW option has been made possible by a very recent change to HRAs (Health Reimbursement Account), which allow employees to select an individual health insurance policy with the funds allocated by the employer.
DENTAL & VISION
Dental is very challenging
• The cost is high
• Networks are exceptionally fragmented
• There is an insurance carrier and networks, they are not the same thing, creating confusion
• The maximum benefit amount is capped
• The premium difference between employer market and individual market is limited
Vision insurance is less costly, making the challenges more affordable. If your employees require eye exams, contact lenses or eyeglasses, the benefits received will very likely exceed the premium.
GROUP & VOLUNTARY LIFE
Attracting and retaining employees is important in today’s labor market. The least expensive benefit is Group Life, where the employer pays. Benefits can be as low as $10,000 and can be over $50,000, with no medical questions.
If you company offers Group Life, then it can access Group Voluntary Life.
• Much higher benefit amounts
• Much lower premiums than the individual market
• High benefit amounts with no medical questions (can be > $100,000)
• Limited medical questions for greater benefit amounts
Management may have additional or different requirements, and special considerations for retention and promotion.
• Key Man
• Long-term Disability