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When Hiring Millennials, This Type of Insurance Is a Big Perk

Beyond things like work-life balance and the company's social mission, millennials also prioritize their health care coverage.

For the last couple of years, millennials have represented the largest share of the U.S. workforce, and their numbers are growing. As business owners continue to hire millennials, they need to consider more than just salary and vacation days when creating employment packages to attract and retain top talent.

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Millennials are notoriously picky about the benefits and perks that come along with prospective jobs. Company culture, work-life balance, the business's social mission, health care options, and even fringe perks like free meals have long played a role in millennials' career choices.

According to the 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report, which surveyed 5,000 employees across the U.S., 60 percent of employees said they were more likely to take a job with lower pay and better benefits, and 42 percent said improvements on their existing benefits package would play a role in keeping them at their current job.

But how can a small business stand out in the world of endless perks and company nice-to-haves? Team-building retreats and leadership training are great, but they aren't the entire picture. Offering employees better health care benefits is ranked in the top three priorities among employees, according to data from the Kaiser Foundation. While the Affordable Care Act doesn't require businesses with fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs) to offer those employees health coverage benefits, that doesn't mean millennials joining your team won't be looking to see you've got their back when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

That's where voluntary insurance coverage, which gives employees the option of supplemental insurance in the form of cash benefits, can play an important role in helping offset out-of-pocket costs so many employees face when dealing with health care.

Show you care with voluntary health care.

First off, it's important to understand just how many of your employees are FTEs – a calculation that's simple enough to make if you take the right steps to get there. If your business has employees working fewer than 30 hours a week, that doesn't mean you should simply exclude those FTEs from the benefits of health care. It's a way to differentiate yourself.

Research has shown the need for supplemental coverage is undoubtedly there. The 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report found 65 percent of employees have less than $1,000 on hand to pay for unexpected health issues or emergencies, with more than a third of those individuals having less than $500 stockpiled for health emergencies.

This survey also found that there's a big discrepancy between what employers are offering and what employees want when it comes to health care coverage. The stress of not having access to proper health care plays a major role on your employees' wellbeing. Take for example, the following figure: 59 percent of employees worry they'll be incapable of adjusting to the large financial burden that illness or injury could cause them.

Not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Millennials are looking for the best coverage without breaking their budget, which is why voluntary insurance is so critical when it comes to taking care of employees.

The range of voluntary health insurance options that employees can choose from gives them the flexibility to decide what care they need most. Often, it's not that employees lack health insurance altogether, but that they want to enhance what coverage they do have depending on their own personal concerns.

Voluntary plans range from accident insurance, which helps cover treatment, ambulance costs and hospital stays in the case of an unforeseen emergency; cancer insurance, focused on offering support for those going through cancer treatment; hospital indemnity insurance, to help cover the cost of hospital stays; and short-term disability insurance.

Helping your bottom line.

From a business perspective, offering voluntary insurance won't hurt your bottom line because the cost of premiums are covered by those employees who choose to apply. Additionally, the 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report found that more than half of companies offering voluntary insurance see their workers' compensation claims go down – another cost-saving benefit.

Perhaps most importantly, employees who see their companies offering a range of health care options simply feel better taken care of. More than fringe perks and Ping-Pong tables, offering voluntary health insurance to your team signals to employees that you care about their health and wellbeing. It's what matters most to both you and them.

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Coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In New York, coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.




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