The number of employers offering voluntary health insurance benefits as part of their overall benefits package grew by 9 percent in 2014 compared to 2012, according to a study by Aflac, a major provider of voluntary options.
Aflac’s release announcing the results of the survey didn’t say whether employee demand or employer plan design changes is the primary driver of this uptick. But Aflac noted that 42 percent of respondents said they weren’t prepared to pay the out-of-pocket costs associated with a serious illness or accident, precisely the kinds of events voluntary options cover.
Further, the research found that employees who work for an employer that includes voluntary benefits in their plan report being more satisfied with the jobs than workers who don’t have access to voluntary options.
Other research has also indicated 2015 will be a good year for the inclusion and sale of voluntary options in benefits packages. A recent LIMRA study offered strong support for Aflac’s survey results, as it reported that 90 percent of employers surveyed who offered voluntary benefits in the past will continue to do so.
The satisfaction quotient cited by Aflac suggested a true link between voluntary benefits and employee happiness exists.
“According to the Aflac study, when compared to workers who are not offered voluntary insurance options, employees who are enrolled in voluntary insurance are 18 percent more likely to be extremely or very satisfied with their jobs.”
Other survey highlights include:
- 38 percent more likely to be extremely or very satisfied with the overall benefits package offered to them.
- 19 percent less likely to be extremely or very likely to look for another job in the next 12 months.
- 64 percent more likely to completely or strongly agree they feel fully protected by their current insurance coverage.