Windsor, CT, February 27, 2003 � Lower cost, convenience, payroll deduction, and support from human resources staff are among the reasons employees gave for preferring to get insurance benefits through their employers, according to a new LIMRA International study.
And with employers in a cost squeeze for health benefits, some employees say they would be willing to give up their employers’ subsidy for certain benefits � such as disability, life, or dental coverage � and buy them on a voluntary basis in order to keep their costs for medical insurance in check.
LIMRA conducted six focus groups of full-time employees to understand how consumers approach decisions about benefits in general and voluntary benefits, such as extra life or disability insurance, in particular. The participating employees were covered by at least two employer-sponsored insurance benefits. Three groups included participants 25-44 years old and three groups were ages 45-59.
“Participants in all the groups strongly affirmed the value of obtaining insurance benefits at the worksite,” said Rick Hekeler, Ph.D., senior scientist in LIMRA’s Markets Research Center. “They made little distinction between the value of subsidized and voluntary benefits, and praised both types for their ease of purchase, attractive pricing, and convenience.”
The report outlines recommendations for spurring interest in voluntary product sales based on the findings of the study. The study reports additional findings on the role of quality of benefits, enrollment procedures, and satisfaction with technology in benefit research and selection, which is high.
“The study confirms that many employees are familiar with the voluntary benefit concept and view them favorably,” Hekeler said. “Focus group participants indicated that, because they are bearing the full cost of these benefits, they expect more from brokers and company representatives during the purchase process.”
The full report is available as a benefit to LIMRA members and for purchase by non-member insurance and financial services companies.
Visit the LIMRA Web site at www.limra.com for more information.