One Size Fits All – No Longer Fits
In recent years benefits, particularly those provided to low-wage or hourly employees, has been driven by compliance pressures brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with little or no thought to what the end user needs or wants.
As we emerge into a more mature market, employee retention becomes a more compelling force in the evaluation and recommendation process for benefit brokers and their clients. As a result, designer plans, specifically shaped by industry are beginning to emerge. Interestingly, Leadership in this area is being provided not by the large national brands, but by the smaller specialty carriers.
Designer Benefit Plan Examples:
- Nurse Med – Specifically designed for nursing homes, home health agencies and medical temp or staffing organizations. Since these industries tend to employ a higher percentage of female employees, an emphasis is placed on wellness and preventive as well as dread disease/critical illness options.
- Restaurant/Food Services Med – These employees tend to value low out of pocket benefits and increased levels of accident and outpatient doctors office visits. Promotion of employer paid first dollar outpatient coverage, with increased benefits tied to retention are critical to manage traditionally high turnover
- Aggri-Med – Agricultural workers have a higher than average number of immigrant workers who need and appreciate bi-lingual communications tools. Also, because many of these employees migrated from another country, life insurance that specifically pays for repatriation of remains to that country are greatly valued. Since many of these farms and dairies are located in remote or rural areas, direct primary care clinics with multiphasic services are required.
- Security Med – Security guards commonly employ more male than female employees and generally work odd hours. Having free telemedicine available 24 hours per day, goes further in these industries. Also, first dollar benefits and flexible hours of provider availability are more important, since wages and hours are lower than the average service employee.
A carrier with the flexibility to design these industry specific plans will do well in our evolving marketplace, particularly in industries like the ones described here. Identifying the best of these smaller boutique carriers is the challenge. Underlying factors such as consolidated administration, time in force and commitment to the products they sell are all important metrics and not as easy to evaluate is with a more traditional carrier
Our firm specializes evaluating carriers and putting together industry specific plans like these and would love to share some ideas along these lines with you and your clients. We strongly believe the tide is turning away from legal compliance to recruitment and retention and would be happy to share some of these concepts and/or quote specific plans.