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November 25, 2020

A match made in heaven: Voluntary benefits meets technology

Jennifer Hilliard, Kyleen Engelstad

Employers are on the lookout for ways to enhance the value of their benefits package and provide valuable financial protection to their employees. Voluntary benefits such as accident, critical illness, and hospital indemnity plans fit the bill.  A valued voluntary benefit can even improve an employee’s perception of the entire benefits program.  

According to the 2019 Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsor Health Plans, the percentage of employers offering these benefits by plan is:

  • Accident insurance plans - 64%
  • Critical illness insurance plans - 52%
  • Hospital indemnity insurance plans - 30%
  • Identity theft  protection plans - 35%

Understanding the importance of these added benefits, MMA’s West region formed a dedicated voluntary benefits team. The in-house team designs a roadmap to help improve:

  • Designing meaningful benefits
  • Your voluntary benefits administration
  • Voluntary benefits enrollment
  • Employee communications 

The team works with our clients to understand their challenges and goals and put together a strong voluntary benefits program. Our discussions include many different considerations and are tailored to each client.

But even with those added benefits, if employees are not using them the value slips out the door.  So, MMA brings in the expertise of its in-house technology team to maximize the use and value of voluntary benefits.

According to the Mercer survey, today 67 percent of employers house their voluntary benefits within their benefits administration platform. The MMA technology team has experience working with every leading human capital management and benefits administration platform the industry offers. And they are agnostic which means they don’t have a preference but are committed to helping clients first.

Among their many aptitudes, the technology team understands system implementation and renewal processes, connectivity, and system nuances for voluntary benefits.  The voluntary benefits team collaborates with the technology team, in order to guide clients in their plan designs and decisions when it comes to marrying voluntary benefits to their benefits technology platform. The two teams explore critical issues and helps clients answer questions such as:  

  • For critical illness plans--will the platform support “attained age” and “issue age”?
    • Some critical illness plans rates are stacked, meaning an employee can elect coverage based on “issue age” and increase the coverage later, but that additional amount would be based on “attained age.”
  • Will the platform separate ratings for dependents that are volume- and age-banded?
  • Are there limitations around plan bundled and pre-enrollment qualifiers?

These along with many other questions can be answered with the combined support of the voluntary benefits and technology teams at MMA. They will collaborate on a plan design that works hand-in-hand with your selected technology.

Contact your MMA representative to learn more.