Changing the mindset – Enhanced Benefits
By: Jonathan M. Bernstein GBDS, VBS
Has anyone approached you about your company’s ancillary products? Chances are, the answer is yes. However, many people do not understand what are Ancillary benefits or products are, or how they can impact a company’s workforce. According to Merriam-Webster, ancillary is providing something additional to a main part or function. Is this the intent of Life, Disability, Accident, Critical Illness, Gap, Hospital Indemnity, Dental, Vision, and Wellness? Is it meant to be just something additional? The simple answer is no.
Benefits are imperative to have a financial support mechanism for your employees.
- About 100 million workers are without private disability income insurance.
- The average group long-term disability claim lasts 34.6 months.
- Medical problems contributed to 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007 – an estimate of over 500,000. This is a 50% increase over results from a similar 2001 study.
Benefits are imperative to retain and recruit talent to your organization.
- 60% – Of employees are likely to take a job with lower pay but better benefits.
- 42% – Say improving their benefits package is one thing their employers could do to keep them in their jobs – second only to “increase my salary” and more important than “give me a promotion.”
- 16% – Have left a job or turned down employment in the last 12 months due to the benefits offered.
Benefits are imperative to drive employee engagement, wellness, and allow them to provide your customers the best product and service.
- When employers get benefits right, there’s a clear advantage. Employees who are satisfied with their benefits are less likely to have been distracted at work by a personal issue (23% vs. 33%)
- 51% of companies offering voluntary accident insurance report reductions in their workers’ compensation claims.
- 61% of employees say they’ve made healthier choices due to their companies’ wellness programs, they also report higher job-satisfaction levels.
“Offering enhanced benefits to your employees’ shows that you are truly invested and care about their well-being, and this can lead to higher engagement and productivity in the workplace” Says Bree Leyer, Health Promotions Specialist at Babb, Inc. “If you take this one step further and offer benefits-based incentives for your wellness program, this can continue to drive engagement at work and in the wellness program, until the intrinsic (internal) benefits of a healthy lifestyle take over.”
Leyer, with the support of Babb, Inc. CEO, Russell Livingston, has helped to shape an internal wellness program that encourages employee engagement by providing enhanced benefits to employees. BABBLiveWell’s five year initiative, implemented by Leyer’s predecessor, has benefited the Babb, Inc. workforce over the past several years. A direct derivative of the program is an increase in employee engagement and moral.
As Livingston puts it, “there is nothing more important to a business than the emotional and physical well-being of employees. Employers understand this and many are becoming more effective in the programming that enables sustainable behavior. It’s a mindset that is supported by the right offerings and if effectively delivered can penetrate and impact a culture.”
We need to change our mindset and start thinking about these benefits as “Enhancements”. Merriam-Webster defines Enhancement in the following way; to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness.
Enhanced benefits provide you and your employees with value. Life, disability, and wellness should never be considered “something additional”, it should be a priority.
If we shift our thought process to an enhanced strategy and get away from “something additional”, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Jonathan M Bernstein GBDS, VBS
Senior Account Manager
412-237-2105 | TF: 800-892-1015 | F: 412-231-1633
Source:  U.S. Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet February 7, 2013
 Gen Re, U.S. Group Disability Rate & Risk Management Survey 2012, based on claims closed in 2011
 The American Journal of Medicine, June 4, 2009 Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study; David U. Himmelstein, MD, Deborah Thorne, PhD, Elizabeth Warren, JD, Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH
 U.S. Courts, Bankruptcy Statistics, 12-Month Period Ending December 2007