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2 Table of Contents Introduction: What Are Voluntary Benefits?... 3 Traditional Voluntary Benefits... 4 Short-term Disability Insurance... 5 Long-term Disability Insurance... 7 Critical Illness Insurance... 8 Life Insurance Accident Insurance Dental Insurance Vision Insurance Long-term Care Insurance Non-traditional Voluntary Benefits Legal Plans Pet Insurance Home and Auto Insurance Identity Theft Insurance Voluntary Benefits Resources Educating Employees on Voluntary Benefits emspring.com 2

3 Introduction: What Are Voluntary Benefits? Voluntary benefits are benefits offered in addition to employees core compensation and benefits packages that employees can pick and choose from. Many employers consider expanding their voluntary benefits to compensate for increasing health care costs, which is a major factor in the recent trend toward providing a wider array of voluntary benefits. Voluntary benefits cost employers little to nothing to offer while making compensation packages more attractive to employees. Voluntary benefits can be either insurance or non-insurance products. For the voluntary insurance benefits, employees can take advantage of lower group rates, the convenience of payroll deductions and, in some cases, pre-tax deductions. Many voluntary insurance products have portable coverage, so employees can keep their policies if they end up leaving your company. For most voluntary insurance offerings, employees pay 100 percent of the premiums. Non-insurance voluntary benefits may also be offered to add extra value to an employee s benefits package. Many of these benefits are designed to offer simplicity, convenience or money-saving options to various aspects of employees lives. For example, an employee discount program helps employees save money on a variety of items and services simply for working at your company. Why Voluntary Benefits? Your company can benefit in many ways from offering voluntary benefits. Most voluntary benefit offerings will cost you little or nothing to offer while still providing great value to your employees, making voluntary benefits well worth the time and money you do spend. Many employees highly value certain benefits, such as dental, vision and disability insurance, making voluntary benefit offerings a great recruitment tool. Attractive benefits packages also help build loyalty and retention, reducing employee turnover and associated costs. Employees benefit from reduced group rates, convenience of payroll deductions and the ease of having multiple options all in one place. Additionally, a good voluntary benefits selection promotes goodwill because employees can choose the options that are best for them and their families. Questions About Voluntary Benefits? Interested in boosting your employee benefits offering at little or no cost to you? Contact EmSpring at and talk to either John Kernie or Pat Leahy, our voluntary benefits specialists. emspring.com 3

4 Traditional Voluntary Benefits Traditional voluntary benefits are insurance products that are useful to the majority of employees, and most employees would at least consider purchasing them. Many of these voluntary benefits supplement a regular medical insurance plan or contribute to an employee s financial security should he or she suffer a severe illness or disability. The primary advantage to employees is the convenience and the group rates provided by voluntary benefits. Dental and vision insurance plans are two of the most commonly offered products. Traditional voluntary benefits also include long- and short-term disability, long-term care, critical illness, cancer, life and accident insurance policies. emspring.com 4

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6 hanging over them. Short-term disability, like many other insurance benefits, gives your employees a sense of security that builds loyalty and goodwill with your company. emspring.com 6

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9 How Does Critical Illness Insurance Work? If you offer critical illness insurance as a voluntary benefit, employees will likely receive a group discount, and their premiums may be paid through payroll deductions. After an employee submits a claim, the insurance company will determine whether the illness is a qualifying event and will usually enforce a survival period, which is a pre-determined number of days the employee must live past the diagnosis in order to receive the benefit payment. The insurance company will typically issue a lump sum payment directly to the employee. Why Offer Critical Illness Benefits? Critical illness coverage helps fill in the gaps in medical coverage. Offering critical illness insurance as one of your voluntary benefit insurance products can help build your employees financial safety nets for when they face massive medical and related expenses. emspring.com 9

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11 How Does Life Insurance Work? When you offer life insurance as a voluntary benefit, your employees typically benefit from reduced group rates, and their premiums are typically paid via payroll deduction; this coverage would likely be portable. Benefits are delivered to the employee s designated beneficiary upon his or her death. Why Offer Life Insurance? Life insurance gives employees security for their families at a reduced group rate with the convenience of payroll deductions. Life insurance is another benefit that gives employees savings on insurance premiums and contributes to the value of their benefits package. emspring.com 11

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13 Participation in illegal activity Participation in a professional or semi-professional organized sport, or driving in a race, stunt show or speed test How Does Accident Insurance Work? Employees can pay premiums through payroll deductions, and they will benefit from a group rate which they probably would not be able to obtain individually. After a claim is submitted, benefit payments are sent directly to the employee. Why Offer Accident Insurance Benefits? Accident insurance can be a helpful benefit for employees who wish to supplement their regular medical insurance, and accident coverage contributes to the financial safety net that many of these voluntary benefits help build. emspring.com 13

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15 follows a structure, Class I services are covered at 100 percent, Class II at 80 percent and Class III at 50 percent. Class IV services are frequently covered under a separate lifetime maximum (instead of the annual maximum) and often limit coverage to children under the age of 19. In addition to the class of service, coverage also depends on other factors. Several common services are limited by frequency. For example, most plans will cover two cleanings and exams per year. For more complicated procedures or surgeries, coverage is often limited to a maximum dollar amount, such as $1,500 per year. Age is another factor affecting coverage. For example, fluoride treatments are typically covered for children, but not adults. Cosmetic procedures, such as teeth-whitening, are rarely covered. How Does Dental Insurance Work? When offering dental insurance as a voluntary benefit, your company can provide coverage at lower group rates, and employees typically pay their premiums through payroll deductions. Why Offer Dental Insurance? Dental health influences overall health, with poor dental hygiene increasing the chances of diabetes, heart disease, blindness, pregnancy complications and more. Offering dental insurance as a voluntary benefit can encourage employees to take care of their oral health because it can affect their regular medical insurance claims. In general, keeping your employees healthy boosts productivity, and most employees, especially those who have families, will expect and appreciate dental coverage. How Has Health Care Reform Affected Dental Coverage? Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dental insurance is treated differently for adults and children 18 and under. Dental coverage for children under the age of 19 is an essential health benefit. This means that all non-grandfathered plans in the individual and small group markets, as well as all qualified health plans offered through a Marketplace, must offer dental coverage for children, unless certified stand-alone coverage is available. States can choose to extend pediatric dental coverage beyond the 19-year age baseline. Non-medically necessary orthodontia is not included in the essential health benefits definition. Dental coverage for adults is not an essential health benefit. Insurers don t have to offer adult dental coverage. In addition, under the ACA, most individuals must have health coverage or pay a penalty. However, this is not true for dental coverage. An individual does not have to obtain dental coverage to avoid a penalty. Dental coverage is available through the Marketplaces in two ways: emspring.com 15

16 As part of a health plan. In the Marketplace, dental coverage is included in some health plans. If a health plan includes dental coverage, an individual will pay one monthly premium for everything. The premium shown for the plan includes both health and dental coverage. Through a separate, stand-alone dental plan. In some cases, separate, stand-alone dental plans are offered through the Marketplace. Individuals may want this if their health coverage doesn t include dental coverage, or if they want different dental coverage. If an individual chooses a separate, stand-alone dental plan, he or she will pay a separate, additional premium. emspring.com 16

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18 Why Offer Vision Benefits? Similar to dental insurance, vision plans are often highly valued by employees, which makes them a useful recruiting and retention tool. In addition, providing vision coverage encourages employees to visit the doctor, which can help protect both their vision and overall health, all contributing to a healthier, more productive workforce. How Has Health Care Reform Affected Vision Insurance? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does affect some vision benefit plans. In general, the ACA does not apply to limited-scope vision benefits that qualify as an excepted benefit under HIPAA. Limited-scope vision benefits will qualify as excepted benefits if they are provided under a separate policy, certificate or contract of insurance, or are otherwise not an integral part of a group health plan. If a vision plan does not qualify as excepted benefits, it will have to comply with all ACA requirements, including providing coverage for adult children up to age 26 and eliminating lifetime and annual limits on essential health benefits. In addition, under the ACA, vision coverage for children under age 19 is considered an essential health benefit. This means that vision coverage must be available for children under the age of 19. Vision coverage for adults is not an essential health benefit, and insurers are not required to offer adult vision coverage. Additionally, an individual does not have to obtain vision coverage to avoid a penalty. Vision coverage can be offered either as part of a comprehensive medical plan or by itself through a stand-alone vision plan. However, stand-alone vision plans may not be offered through the Marketplaces. emspring.com 18

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20 Why Offer Long-term Care Benefits? Long-term care coverage delivers coverage in addition to other insurance, such as medical or disability plans. Giving employees this option for financial security adds to the overall value of your voluntary benefits package. emspring.com 20

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22 through payroll deductions. When the plan holder is diagnosed with cancer and submits a claim, most plans will send a lump-sum payment directly to him or a designated recipient. Why Offer Cancer Insurance Benefits? Even with a good medical plan, cancer is still expensive and there will undoubtedly be out-ofpocket expenses for your sick employee. Offering cancer insurance can give employees a sense of financial security and can be extremely helpful in the event they actually need to use the benefits. Like other voluntary benefits, cancer insurance adds to the value that employees gain from your benefits package. emspring.com 22

23 Non-traditional Voluntary Benefits Non-traditional voluntary benefits include offerings that are newer benefit products or more specialized than the traditional voluntary benefits insurance products. Some of the nontraditional benefits are insurance plans, but others are types of reimbursement or discount programs that contribute to employees quality of life or their ability to get the most out of their budgets. Non-traditional voluntary benefits include group prepaid legal plans, pet insurance, financial planning assistance, employee purchase programs, employee discount programs, home and auto insurance, educational assistance services, identity theft insurance and adoption assistance. emspring.com 23

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25 need to use this benefit, they communicate directly with the legal plan provider to access legal services. Why Offer Legal Plan Benefits? Legal plan voluntary benefits are widely applicable because there are a number of reasons why an employee might seek legal counsel. Offering a group legal plan can help reduce employee stress, time away from work and work time used for personal legal issues. Productivity may improve as employees spend less of their work time worrying about and resolving legal problems, and having access to an attorney through a legal plan frequently brings about a faster resolution to the problem. emspring.com 25

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27 Elective procedures Prosthetic limbs Grooming Training or behavioral problems Pre-existing conditions Breeding Burial-related expenses Some plans will cover chronic or hereditary conditions, but others will specifically exclude these even if they are diagnosed after the policy begins. If wellness, preventive or routine care is covered, it will usually be offered as a separate package that can be added on for an additional premium, although the extra amount might almost double the regular premium in some cases. How Does Pet Insurance Work? Pet insurance is a cost-effective benefit to offer, and employees who wish to take advantage of this voluntary benefit pay premiums through payroll deductions. You will typically receive a group discount code to give to interested employees, who can then go through the enrollment and benefit selection process on their own. Claims will be handled by the insurance carrier, so very little attention needs to be paid beyond the initial setup of this benefit. Why Offer Pet Insurance? For some employees, pet insurance will be a highly valued benefit, and you will be able to offer it at a lower group rate than they would be able to obtain elsewhere. Easing your employees worries about budgeting for pet illnesses can help establish goodwill between your company and employees and be a recruiting tool to promote your image of being a great place to work. emspring.com 27

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29 Medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage covers medical expenses for the policyholder and possibly also for passengers following a car accident Comprehensive coverage covers damage from events such as fire, theft and vandalism Collision coverage covers damage after a collision with other vehicles or objects Replacement cost or gap coverage covers the replacement value of a severely damaged car rather than the lesser, depreciated value How Do Home and Auto Insurance Benefits Work? Unlike most other insurance benefits, home and auto insurance has year-round enrollment, which allows your employees to take advantage of this benefit and sign up whenever the need arises, such as when they acquire a new house or car. The home and auto insurance is typically portable, so employees can be comfortable purchasing insurance through your company because they can keep it even if their employment with you is terminated for any reason. Home and auto insurance is usually 100 percent employee-paid, so there is no cost to your company to provide the benefit. Offering home and auto insurance as a voluntary benefit gives value to your employees with little effort on your part. Why Offer Home and Auto Insurance? Homeowners and auto insurance are relevant for a large percentage of your employees due to various state and industry coverage mandates. Offering home and auto insurance as a voluntary benefit can help your employees simplify the process of choosing and paying for insurance. When you provide home and auto insurance as a voluntary benefit, you are usually able to do so at a lower group rate than employees can access on their own. In addition, employees can enjoy the convenience of automatic payroll deductions to pay their premiums. When you provide a benefit that saves employees money, time and frustration, and contributes to their peace of mind by protecting what s important to them, you can foster increased employee satisfaction and loyalty. emspring.com 29

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31 Lost wages due to time away from work to meet with police, confer with attorneys or engage in other recovery-related activities Cost of obtaining credit bureau reports In addition, the insurance may cover fees for a fraud specialist who can support and guide your employees through the recovery process, and some plans may provide their own experts. How Does Identity Theft Insurance Work? As a voluntary benefit offering, employees can pay their premiums through payroll deductions. Your employees will benefit from a group rate, which is likely less expensive than insurance they could purchase individually. The insurance carrier should handle all claims, minimizing the paperwork you have to process after initial setup and enrollment. Why Offer Identity Theft Insurance? When an employee suffers identity theft, he or she will likely be stressed and need to spend a considerable amount of time repairing the damages. Without any assistance, this can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Providing identity theft insurance as a voluntary benefit can give employees the help they need to reduce the time spent away from work and preoccupied with personal problems while at work. Identity theft insurance helps employees solve their problems in a timely manner and also reduces the negative impact of the identity theft resolution process on their work productivity. emspring.com 31

32 Voluntary Benefits Resources Voluntary benefits are only valuable if employees understand and use them. The following pages include guidance for educating your employees on the voluntary benefits you offer, a checklist for efficient implementation and a summary of the recent Employee Benefits Benchmark Survey that explored the popularity of various voluntary benefit options. emspring.com 32

33 Educating Employees on Voluntary Benefits Offering voluntary benefits are a great way to enhance your benefits package, differentiate yourself from competitors and increase employee satisfaction all with little impact on your budget. But while you may choose to offer numerous types of voluntary benefits that can deliver convenience and value to your employees, many employees do not understand the advantages of the voluntary benefit options they are offered or they may be unclear about how voluntary benefits work. Educating your employees about the voluntary benefits you provide will yield the greatest value for you and your employees. Demonstrate the Value When compared to employer-sponsored benefits, many employees may fail to see the value of voluntary benefits, especially since they are typically paying 100 percent of the insurance premiums. Explaining and demonstrating the value of these benefits will help increase participation. For example, provide a comparison between individually purchased insurance products and the lower rates you provide due to group rates. In addition, some insurance plans may only be offered through employers, so emphasize the benefits you offer that can t be obtained elsewhere. When promoting your voluntary benefit options, you can discuss the benefits of having coverage and the risks of going without, and also highlight the value of paying reduced rates, all with the convenience of payroll deductions. Coverage Education When offering a voluntary benefit, you should ensure that your employees understand how the benefit programs work. Here are a few strategies for making sure your employees are sufficiently educated about their benefits: Invite current employees to the monthly or quarterly benefits meetings provided for newly hired individuals. Host group or individual counseling sessions on benefits and have an EmSpring representative talk about each of the employer selected benefits. Consider scheduling small-group meetings and one-on-ones with employees who have questions. Enhance your existing benefits communication program with social media. Social media provides a convenient and effective way to reach out to your employees with educational information, tips and reminders. Employer Advantage In addition to boosting participation in your voluntary benefits programs, providing benefits education can position you as a valuable source of knowledge and strengthen employee emspring.com 33

34 satisfaction and loyalty. Contact EmSpring at and speak to either John Kernie or Pat Leahy, our voluntary benefits specialists, to learn more about voluntary benefit options and to obtain access to educational materials and the Voluntary Benefits Employee Guide. emspring.com 34

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