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2024 BenefitsPro Voluntary Benefits Survey Captures a Bright Outlook for Brokers

The 2024 BenefitsPRO Voluntary Benefits Survey shows a sunny forecast for PEO brokers for the rest of the year and into 2025.

Quick look: Following last year’s upswing of voluntary benefits, brokers can continue to feel encouraged about the road ahead for their businesses. The 2024 BenefitsPRO Voluntary Benefits Survey shows a sunny forecast for the rest of the year and into 2025. However, this steady demand calls for market differentiators to maintain competitiveness, which makes it all the more beneficial for brokers to seek the support of a PEO partner.

The future looks bright for brokers as the optimism surrounding voluntary benefits continues to increase. This year’s BenefitsPRO Voluntary Benefits survey shows growth in nearly all areas of voluntary business despite the inevitable weight of inflation which always seems to linger close by.

To take advantage of this uptick and advance their businesses, brokers are searching for ways to create a relatively smooth path to success. According to the survey, this is being achieved in a few ways, such as working with carriers with products built on a technology platform and considering the level of service their chosen carrier provides.

As a result, many brokers have discovered working with a professional employer organization (PEO) partner delivers the products, service, and technology they need to satisfy their small- and medium-sized business (SMB) clients. Making this connection also creates a higher sense of security in building new business and strengthening current SMB relationships.

With a closer look at the survey results, brokers can confirm encouraging expectations as they forge ahead, as well as identify spots where they may want to subtly shift direction. Here’s an overview of what the numbers have to say:

Higher sales for brokers

Well over half of brokers (56%) report 2023 sales were much higher than sales in 2022, with only 2% reporting a sales dip. The makeup of voluntary benefit sales largely includes accidental injury, critical illness, and short-term disability, while hospital indemnity and vision have also become part of the highest sought-out coverage for SMBs.

Continued growth for voluntary products

The growth trend for voluntary products has become part of the norm for many brokers. 85% of those surveyed say they expect voluntary business to become an even larger part of sales in the future, with 0% saying it will decrease.

As other research has illustrated before, employees seek supplemental healthcare benefits with affordable, accessible options. Therefore, voluntary benefits have become a selling point during enrollment rather than an afterthought.

To meet the rising demand, the majority of brokers say they use multiple carriers to source the best products for their clients’ needs. Although, survey results also show 28% opt to use a single-use carrier to simplify the process.

Streamlining services and customizing benefits are competitive advantages, and with a PEO partner like ExtensisHR, brokers can confidently offer their clients both.

Popularity of onsite enrollment has returned

Self-service continues to be the most common enrollment method. Yet, when combining all forms of onsite meetings, person-to-person interactions are used most frequently. This is likely due to the aforementioned desire for customization, as well as the need for further explanation of benefit value.

In 2023, one-to-one onsite meetings for enrollment were the most frequently used (23%) compared to onsite group meetings (6%); though 10% used a combination of both (onsite group meetings followed by a one-to-one).

Group meetings provide an overview of benefit products and value. Whereas, meeting one-to-one focuses on how benefits are relevant from employee to employee. Providing accessibility to both enrollment options gives employees the advantage of attending meetings which work with their work schedules and getting the necessary information to make the best possible decision.

Product features and service remain a top priority

It’s no surprise the top priority for brokers is to deliver the best products and service for their clients. But what does that entail and how can brokers set themselves apart?

To recruit and retain top talent, SMB employers understand they need to stay competitive with what larger companies can offer but must also be realistic about budget limitations. Through a PEO partner, broker clients receive access to Fortune 500-level benefits at affordable prices.

Additionally, personalized attention adds to the overall value. ExtensisHR focuses on client collaboration so benefits align with SMBs’ evolving needs. Plus, a people-first approach further sets their team apart from other PEOs.

Amplifying broker opportunities for new business

ExtensisHR supports brokers in building their portfolios by offering certified HR experience and a deep understanding of today’s unique HR challenges and needs. Unlike big-box PEOs which rely on one-size-fits-all benefit plans, ExtensisHR helps brokers stand out through:

Benefit customization

With five generations of employees making up the workplace, benefits must align with employees’ individual goals in order to improve enrollment, usage, and overall satisfaction. The implementation of an employee assistance program (EAP) is an excellent place for SMBs to start.

An EAP gives employees free, convenient access to services, resources, and referrals for voluntary benefits like mental healthcare and financial wellness. It provides solutions for a diverse range of personal- and work-related issues to ultimately improve job satisfaction and company culture.

Proprietary technology

According to the survey, 35% of brokers select carriers with products built on a technology platform. Enabling technology which streamlines benefit implementation and management is increasingly important to support distributed workforces. ExtensisHR’s Work Anywhere® mobile-first platform aligns with modern advancements, allowing SMB leaders to securely manage critical HR tasks anywhere, anytime.

All-inclusive HR solutions

ExtensisHR offers cost-effective, tailored services for HR, payroll, benefits, risk management, and more, all in one place. This allows SMB to focus fully on company growth. Additionally, having access to a dedicated team of HR professionals means companies can stay current with changes in compliance as well as employee benefit trends.

The good news it the future of voluntary business is already bright. However, it’s always helpful to have the support of a PEO to preserve optimism and enthusiasm along the way.

Learn more about how a PEO partner can prolong the success of your business. Contact ExtensisHR today.

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