Tailoring Employee Benefits with Flexibility and Savings

In today’s ever-changing world, the need for comprehensive coverage for both employers and their teams is more important than ever. Voluntary benefits offer a robust solution, providing a safety net that complements traditional insurance plans. The biggest advantage is that these additional coverages offer significant value without imposing a financial burden on businesses. They serve as a powerful means to support the overall well-being of your workforce, addressing a broad spectrum of evolving needs. For employees, these benefits are essential in protecting both health and financial stability. Whether it’s securing income during periods of illness or providing necessary support for families, voluntary benefits are crafted to ensure peace of mind. Accessible in the workplace and adaptable to various lifestyles, these plans strike the perfect balance between affordability and flexibility. It’s no wonder they have become an essential component of a modern work environment.

Popular Voluntary Benefits at a Glance

Voluntary benefits offer a variety of options that cater to the diverse needs of employees. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular voluntary benefits:

  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Legal Services
  • Pet Insurance

Key Takeaways:

  • Enhanced Coverage Options: Voluntary benefits provide additional coverage choices, helping employees bridge gaps in their primary health and insurance plans.
  • Affordability and Value: These benefits are often available at lower rates than individual plans, making essential coverage more accessible and financially feasible.
  • Customizable to Individual Needs: Employees can select benefits that best suit their personal and family situations, from critical illness coverage to life insurance and beyond.
  • Financial Protection for Unexpected Events: Voluntary benefits offer financial support for various life events, such as illness, accidents, or family changes, safeguarding employees’ financial stability.
  • Worksite Convenience: Accessible through the workplace, these plans offer ease and convenience, allowing employees to integrate their benefit choices seamlessly into their work life.

Boost to Employee Satisfaction and Retention: By offering voluntary benefits, employers can significantly enhance job satisfaction and loyalty among their team.

Enhance Your Benefits Portfolio with Expert Guidance and a FREE Quote!

Explore the potential of voluntary benefits tailored for your team with Peoples First Insurance. Our specialists are committed to helping you discover cost-effective coverage options that not only take care of your team’s needs but also contribute to increasing staff retention. With our guidance, you can make a smart choice that benefits both your employees and your business.

Got Questions? Give Us a Call!

What are Voluntary Benefits?

Voluntary benefits are a versatile and cost-effective solution for both employers and employees.  Even the most robust employer-sponsored health insurance plans have gaps, and these voluntary benefits plans help ensure that employees have the coverage they need most. Just as the name implies, they are elective benefit options offered by employers. However, these plans are paid partially or wholly by employees, typically through payroll deduction. While they are cost-effective for businesses and help draw greater talent to the team, they are also more affordable than typical standalone plans of the same type, making them attractive perks for employees, too.

What Do Voluntary Benefits Cover?

Voluntary benefits offer a range of coverage options, which largely depend on the choices offered by employers and selected by employees during enrollment. These benefits are designed to:

  • Protect Against Income Loss: Safeguard employees’ financial stability in case of unexpected events that impact their ability to work.
  • Cover Specific Expenses: Provide coverage for costs not typically included in standard insurance policies, such as dental, vision, and critical illness-related expenses.
  • Save on Medical Care: Offer savings on various forms of medical care, enhancing the affordability and accessibility of essential health services.
  • Protect Dependents: Ensure that loved ones who rely on the employee financially are protected, particularly in the event of the employee’s illness or death.

Each option within the voluntary benefits package is aimed at enhancing the financial security and overall well-being of employees, allowing them to customize their coverage to suit their individual needs and life situations.

Health and Wellness Benefits:

Dental and Vision Plans

Regular health insurance often overlooks dental and vision care, leaving a significant gap in coverage. These plans play a crucial role in preventive healthcare. Regular dental check-ups and eye exams are key to maintaining overall health and can help detect health issues early. Dental plans typically cover services like cleanings, fillings, and sometimes even more complex procedures. Vision plans contribute to the costs of eye exams, prescription glasses, and contact lenses, ensuring employees have the necessary vision care for their daily tasks.

Critical Illness and Accident Insurance

Standard medical insurance may not fully cover the expenses related to critical illnesses or accidents. Critical illness insurance offers a lump sum payment to help with the costs associated with life-altering illnesses like cancer, heart attack, or stroke. This financial support can be instrumental in covering high deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, or even non-medical costs related to the illness. Accident insurance offers additional coverage for emergency treatment, hospital stays, and other unexpected expenses resulting from accidents. These benefits ensure employees are financially prepared for unforeseen medical situations.

Income Protection Benefits:

Voluntary Life Insurance

Regular employee benefits often lack life insurance benefits, leaving employees’ families vulnerable in the event of the employee’s death. Voluntary life insurance fills this gap by providing a more substantial financial safety net. It can provide beneficiaries with a lump sum payment, helping to cover living expenses, debts, and funeral costs, ensuring financial security during difficult times.

Disability Insurance (Short-Term and Long-Term)

Traditional health insurance doesn’t cover income loss due to short-term or long-term disability arising from illness or injury. Voluntary disability insurance steps in to bridge this gap, offering a percentage of the employee’s salary during the disability period. Short-term disability insurance typically covers a portion of the employee’s salary for a few months, while long-term disability insurance can extend for years, ensuring a continued income stream during longer periods of incapacity. This coverage ensures continuous income flow, maintaining financial stability when employees are unable to work.

The Value of Voluntary Benefits for Employers and Employees

Navigating the world of employee benefits can often feel complex, but when it comes to voluntary benefits, the advantages for both employers and employees are pretty clear and compelling.

For Employees:

From the employee’s perspective, voluntary benefits are a gateway to a more comprehensive coverage universe. These benefits allow employees to tailor their insurance coverage to fit their unique life situations, providing an essential layer of financial protection. The group rates available through workplace plans make these options more affordable than individual policies, offering a cost-effective way to secure crucial coverage like dental, vision, or critical illness insurance. This personalized approach not only empowers employees to take charge of their benefits but also provides them with peace of mind, knowing they’re prepared for life’s unexpected turns.

For Employers:

One of the biggest advantages of offering voluntary benefits is the ability to provide more to your employees without significantly increasing costs. These plans are a strategic tool in enhancing your organization’s appeal, helping to attract and retain top talent. By enriching your benefits package with a variety of voluntary options, you demonstrate a commitment to your employees’ overall well-being, which in turn can foster loyalty and improve workplace morale. Additionally, because these benefits are typically employee-paid, they offer a cost-efficient solution to expanding your benefits offering without straining the company’s budget.

By integrating voluntary benefits into your benefits strategy, you’re not just offering insurance; you’re enhancing the overall employee experience. For employers, it’s about strategically investing in your workforce’s well-being, and for employees, it’s about finding the right coverage to fit their evolving needs.

Tax Benefits and Cost Efficiency

Sure, voluntary benefits are extremely cost-effective, but the financial advantages extend beyond just cost-effectiveness. A significant aspect of these benefits, often overlooked, is the potential for tax savings – both for employers and employees.

Tax Advantages for Employees:

Many voluntary benefits are structured to be pre-tax, which is a major financial perk for employees. When employees opt for these pre-tax benefits, their contributions are deducted from their salary before taxes are applied. This reduction in taxable income can lead to significant tax savings over time. For instance, contributions towards voluntary life insurance, health insurance, or retirement savings plans can reduce the amount of income subject to federal income and FICA taxes. By effectively lowering their taxable income, employees can enjoy more of their earnings while still securing crucial coverage.

Tax Benefits for Employers:

Employers also stand to gain from offering pre-tax voluntary benefits. When employees contribute to these benefits pre-tax, it reduces the total payroll amount subject to taxation. Consequently, employers can see a decrease in their payroll tax liabilities, including FICA and FUTA taxes. This not only makes voluntary benefits a cost-efficient option but also a financially strategic one for businesses looking to optimize their benefits expenditure.

Navigating Voluntary Benefits with Peoples First: A Dual Approach for Employers and Employees

At Peoples First Insurance, we are committed to helping simplify the complex process of understanding voluntary benefits plans for both employers and employees.

We understand that each workplace is unique, and so are the needs of its employees. That’s why we’re committed to helping employers tailor a voluntary benefits plan that truly resonates with your team. We start by getting a clear picture of your workforce – their lifestyles, family situations, and health concerns. This insight allows us to guide you in selecting voluntary benefits that hit the mark, whether it’s life insurance for family-oriented employees or student loan assistance for the younger crowd.

For employees, we offer personalized assistance in navigating the numerous available benefits, ensuring that each choice is a perfect fit for your individual needs and circumstances. Whether it’s selecting life insurance, accident coverage, or critical illness plans, our guidance is tailored to provide the best fit for both your personal and professional life. We make sure that as your life evolves, your benefits keep pace, offering flexibility and security in equal measure.

Strengthening Teams and Families with Voluntary Benefits

The Peoples First Team is passionate about creating workplaces where everyone thrives. A workplace where every team member, from the leadership to the staff, feels valued and secure is what we aim for with our personalized guidance on voluntary benefits options. These plans aren’t just about ticking boxes; they’re about genuine care and support for both personal and professional lives. Whether you’re guiding your company’s direction or contributing as a key team player, our role is to make voluntary benefits work seamlessly for you. Let’s chat about how these benefits can transform your workplace into a successful and secure environment, enhancing job satisfaction and solidifying your business as a great place to work. And if you’re an employee seeking advice on selecting the right coverage, we’re just a call or message away. Whatever your insurance needs, the Peoples First Team is here to support you.


What is the most common form of voluntary benefits?

Dental and vision insurance stand out as top choices in voluntary benefits, primarily because they cover essential preventive care that’s often not fully covered by standard health insurance. These plans are particularly appealing for businesses, as they offer an affordable way to enhance group policies. Additionally, critical illness coverage, life insurance, and disability insurance are significant voluntary benefits, providing crucial financial protection and peace of mind to employees.

Are voluntary benefits pre-tax?

Some voluntary benefits, especially those covered under IRS Section 125, like group term life insurance or Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions, are deductible before taxes. This feature can effectively reduce an employee’s taxable income. Often, premiums for voluntary life insurance are deducted pre-tax, and in some cases, they might be tax-deductible when paid with after-tax dollars. Notably, health insurance premiums for medical, dental, and vision coverage are typical pre-tax deductions. Additionally, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are commonly used for pre-tax savings on various medical expenses, including prescriptions and certain healthcare-related fees.

What is voluntary life insurance?

Voluntary life insurance is an employer-provided option that delivers a cash benefit to a beneficiary upon the insured’s passing. It stands as an appealing choice for employees, who pay a relatively lower monthly premium than they would for a private policy. This cost-effectiveness makes voluntary life insurance particularly beneficial for older employees or those with health concerns, allowing them to secure more substantial coverage at more affordable rates. This type of insurance is a smart financial planning tool, enabling employees to ensure their loved ones’ financial security without the heavy burden of high premium costs.

When can employees enroll for voluntary benefits?

Enrollment for voluntary benefits typically takes place during the designated open enrollment period. Additionally, if employees encounter a qualifying life event, such as marriage, birth of a child, or a significant change in family status, they may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Employers provide specific information regarding the enrollment timeline as part of their employee benefits program, ensuring employees are aware of their opportunities to sign up or make changes to their benefits.

Can employees change their coverage during the year?

Other than open enrollment, employees can modify their voluntary benefits if they experience certain life events. These qualifying events often include changes in marital status (such as marriage or divorce), changes in family size (birth or adoption of a child), significant changes in financial circumstances, a change in residence, or a change in the employment status of the employee or their spouse.

Can you get voluntary benefits with a pre-existing medical condition?

Many voluntary benefits plans offer guaranteed coverage, which means employees can obtain coverage without needing to answer health-related questions. This feature is particularly beneficial for those seeking quick and uncomplicated access to insurance. However, some plans might include clauses for pre-existing conditions or require certain health disclosures, depending on the type of coverage and the insurer’s policies.

Who qualifies for voluntary benefits coverage?

Voluntary benefits are accessible primarily through employer-offered programs. Most full-time employees are eligible, and often part-time or remote workers can also participate, subject to certain work hours requirements. Independent contractors, however, are typically not eligible for these benefits. Additionally, some voluntary benefits may have age-related eligibility criteria, setting minimum or maximum age limits for participation, ensuring that the coverage is relevant and appropriate for the employee’s stage in life.

Do I need voluntary benefits if I already have health insurance?

Having health insurance is a significant step in protecting your health and financial well-being, but it might not cover all your needs. Voluntary benefits are designed to fill the gaps in traditional health insurance coverage. For instance, while your health insurance may cover a portion of medical costs, it might not fully cover expenses like dental and vision care or provide adequate coverage for critical illnesses and accidents. Voluntary benefits like dental, vision, critical illness, or accident insurance can offer additional protection and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses for these specific areas. Plus, they can provide financial support in the event of a disability or death, which standard health insurance doesn’t cover. In essence, voluntary benefits complement your existing health insurance, ensuring a more comprehensive safety net for you and your family.

Is there a minimum number of employees a business must have in order to offer voluntary benefits?

Many insurance carriers don’t set minimum staffing requirements, making these plans accessible even to small businesses. This flexibility allows small businesses to offer competitive benefits packages akin to larger corporations, helping to level the playing field in talent acquisition and retention. However, the range of available plans and rates might vary based on company size.

What are the benefits to employers for offering voluntary benefits?

For employers, voluntary benefits are a strategic tool for enhancing employee satisfaction and loyalty. Offering these benefits can help businesses stand out in a competitive job market, especially against larger companies. The direct costs to the employer are generally low or non-existent, making it a cost-effective way to enrich the company’s overall benefits package and bolster employee morale.

What is voluntary LTD?

Voluntary Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance plays a crucial role in income protection. It provides a monthly benefit if an employee is unable to work due to illness or injury, replacing a part of their income. This insurance is typically funded by the employee with after-tax paycheck deductions, making the claim payouts tax-free. Conversely, non-contributory LTD, paid entirely by the employer, offers similar benefits but with taxable claim payouts. This distinction is essential for employees to consider when choosing their benefits, as it impacts the net income they would receive if they ever need to rely on the LTD coverage.