Reasons to Consider a Flexible Employee Benefits Plan

11-Dec-2015by Donald Chu, CEBSclicks: 2232


This summer, we began offering a new type of benefits plan to our clients – The Flexible Employee Benefits Plan. So far, the results have been impressive. Our clients that have chosen a flexible benefits plan, only have good things to say, and so do their employees.

In previous article, we highlighted the ‘one size does not fit all’ concept of the plan and its high-level benefits. In this article, we’ll delve a bit deeper and provide five concrete reasons why it might be time for your company to consider a flexible employee benefits plan.

Top Reasons to Consider a Flexible Employee Benefits Plans

1. Gives Freedom of Choice to Your Employees

Like our previous article on flexible benefits plans suggested, one size does not fit all. In an increasingly diverse workforce, more employees are looking for greater choice when it comes to the medical and dental benefits that they receive from their employer. Varying lifestyles, blended families, more senior level employees working side-by-side with tech-savvy graduates are reasons why this type of plan is gaining more attention. The flex plan allows employers to put the selection of the benefits in the hands of their employees.

Essentially, three levels of coverage are offered to employees, who upon enrollment, can select the option that best suits their lifestyle and needs. For instance, they might be able to choose either 70%, 80%, or 100% level of drug coverage, and other associated medical and dental coverage within each option. See a sample plan here.

2. Set Your Budget and Stick to It

From a budgetary perspective, the employer also benefits. Generally, our clients have a budget in mind for their benefits plan, and for the flex plan, there is no difference. Our clients can select a flex plan offering with the three employee options that meets their set budget. They assign a specific amount per month to employees with a family plan and an individual plan.

If the employee decides to use more than what it is offered within the budget, then the extra expenses will be deducted from their pay. If they don’t use their monthly budgetary allowance, then the balance is added to their health spending account, which they can use for any other medical, dental or wellness expenses.

3. Provides Greater Rate Stability

While I mentioned earlier the flex plan is new, that’s not entirely true. Flexible benefits plans have been around for a while, offered to and customized for large companies. Only until recently have these flex plans been made available to companies as small as five employees.

To make this plan available to smaller organizations, the flex plan is based on a shared model. In other words, all participating companies pool their premiums and claims, so the risk is minimized for the insurer and the rates are more stable for the client. For instance, if one company claims more than anticipated one year, other companies’ lower claims ratios should compensate. Rates are also renewed every two years instead of annually such as with traditional benefits plans. Overall, these factors help to provide better rate renewal stability for clients.

4. Saves You Time with Easy Online Portal

When it comes to benefits plan enrollment, most traditional benefits plans require forms to be completed. So, business owners or human resource managers need to hand out printed enrollment forms, have employees complete and submit the information, and then provide these form to the insurer. Depending on the size of the company, this process can be time-consuming.

With a flexible benefits plan, employees simply need to submit their information, and choose the plan option that best suits their needs via an easy online portal provided by the insurer.

Following enrollment, employees can download a mobile app from which they can access account information, submit claims, and learn about plan details. It is a simple and digital process that lets employees become autonomous in handling their benefits, and frees up time for management staff.

5. Helps to Position Your Company as Leading-Edge Employer

This is not a traditional plan, and that is exactly why it will help you stand out as a leading-edge employer and attract talent. It is something different and forward-thinking in the employee benefits sphere, and employees, especially those that are more tech-savvy, will appreciate this type of benefits offering over the more traditional approach. Insurers that provide the flex plan have also invested significant amount of time and resources in developing this plan, considering the evolving needs of today’s workforce.

Work-from-home options, flexible schedules, unlimited vacations, and other unique incentives are those that help to position employers as progressive and employee-centric. The flex plan is another way to reinforce those values and attract top talent.

Are You Ready for The Flexible Benefits Plan?

If your organization is looking to implement a new benefits plan, or review an existing employee benefits program, it might be time to consider a flexible benefits plan. Not only do you give your employees more freedom to choose the benefits that are right for them, but the plan can be more budget-friendly, easier to use, more stable on renewal and maybe even a differentiator that helps you attract great talent. If you’re not sure whether this type of plan would suit your organization, our team at BenefitDeck can help you collect feedback from your employees, and assess their needs to see if the flex plan fits. Interested in hearing more? Read more about our flexible benefits plan, or contact us