Employee benefits have been part of the American landscape for more than two generations. Over the years, they have evolved. Even now, how employees perceive their benefits in the wake of the COVID pandemic and the ongoing Great Resignation is forcing yet more evolution in the benefits space. This evolution suggests that complete benefits packages are more important than ever.
For the purposes of this post, a complete benefits package starts with traditional medical insurance and a retirement plan. It also includes standard non-medical (dental and vision) and as-needed voluntary products.
Ongoing Impacts of COVID
A complete benefits package can be a strong recruiting and retention tool as the world continues to deal with the ongoing impacts of COVID. In the coming months and years, new coronavirus variants will arise. A certain number of people infected with the virus will end up facing the long-haul form of COVID. Employees are aware of this, and they are looking for long-term and critical-illness coverage just in case they are impacted.
Likewise, the Great Resignation has many employees either looking for better opportunities elsewhere or struggling as the ones left behind. Either way, a complete benefits package that meets the needs of the modern workforce may be the most important tool for keeping employees around.
Your Role as a Consultant
As a benefits broker, your role is not merely one of pricing products and preparing quotes. You are also your client's primary benefits consultant. They are relying on you to actively keep watch on the evolving benefits landscape, share important information with them, and bring them much needed solutions. Inquire as to how your clients are doing. Listen to what they say so you are prepared to answer questions before they even ask.
A good way to solidify your role as the primary benefits consultant is to talk to your clients about the importance of cancer screenings and plans that include preventative and pre-screening benefits. As you know, such benefits are often included in most critical illness plans, which can even include benefits for the diagnosis and/or treatment of cancer. This type of coverage is important given the fact that so many people have been unable to take advantage of cancer screenings over the last two years because of COVID.
Early Detection and Costs
We know that early detection is key to beating cancer. Unfortunately, some 9.5 million people have not received much-needed cancer screenings since the start of the pandemic. And with estimates suggesting doctors will diagnose nearly 2 million new cases this year, the cancer picture isn't looking good.
It's important to remind employers that the vast majority of cancer patients are not financially prepared to cover treatment costs when first diagnosed. Neither are their families. Moreover, more than half of all cancer patients report significant medical debt that eventually ends up in collection, causing harm to their credit reports and histories.
The bottom line is that cancer is a reality millions of people have to live with. It is prevalent enough that critical illness coverage that includes cancer treatments should now be part of a complete benefits package. Having the ability to pay for cancer treatments is difficult and out of reach for many working Americans.
Brokers play an invaluable role in ensuring their clients have what they need to make informed decisions and provide complete benefits packages to their employers. Make sure you’re working with a General Agency who can support you with the products, carriers, technology, and services you need to provide your clients with a comprehensive benefits package for today’s workforce.