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What are Group Benefits?

Employers discussing what are group benefits

Everyone needs insurance. No matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you have, you need to protect the health and welfare of your family. But how do you do this? How do people get the coverage they need? Should they buy it on their own or as part of a group?

Traditionally, people obtain this coverage through their employer, hence the term “Group Benefits”. The advantage is employees pay lower premiums and, in some cases, receive better coverage than if they purchase insurance on their own. In return, employers can use their benefits package to attract and retain quality employees.

For decades, group benefits covered most Americans and worked very well. Brokers and employers provided comprehensive, affordable plans, and employees remained productive and loyal to their employers. 

Group benefits are evolving

But times are changing. Health care reforms are enabling people to get their benefits coverage from different places – associations, public and private exchanges, and online broker web sites. People are even buying insurance directly from insurance companies at group rates.

This evolution in the delivery of benefits coverage reflects the growth of smaller companies, changing work/life balance, alternate employment arrangements, and family dynamics. People are becoming smarter about their benefits choices and need sophisticated solutions to meet their complex needs.

In spite of these new delivery methods, group benefits will remain vital, as most people will continue to get coverage from their employer. But brokers, employers, and insurance carriers must continue to adapt, creating new products and services, and effectively managing costs. 

What is covered?

While many people think of group benefits plans as being strictly about medical coverage, there’s many more types of insurance to consider; Dental, Disability, Life, Vision, and Supplemental Health plans are also critical to providing for the health and welfare of employees and their families. 

As you think about which plans to offer, consider the following key issues:

  • With the uncertainty of healthcare reform, look for ways to enhance traditional plans and package them with newer products like Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity, Accident, and Cancer.  
  • A large dental network, efficient disability claims management, and lump sum payments for critical illnesses are attractive features to both employers and employees, and can drive participation in plans.
  • Voluntary Benefits, Section 125 plans, absence management plans, tax-leveraged benefits, employee assistance programs, and ASO plans are all innovative ways to help employers provide valuable services at a reasonable cost.

 

Why choose Guardian for employee benefits?

We’re committed to working with brokers and employers to identify employer needs and create comprehensive solutions. By choosing Guardian, you’ll be working with an industry leader in providing non-medical group insurance plans and coverages to employers of all sizes.

We offer comprehensive plans, flexible services, and multi-product discounts, giving you options for designing a successful benefits program. We’ll help you sort through challenges, define group benefits strategies, and implement tactics to get results. In fact, employers ranked Guardian 9 out of 10 on responsiveness, knowledge and courtesy1.

Employers ranked Guardian 9 out of 10 on responsiveness, knowledge and courtesy - graphic

Our secure website, Guardian Anytime, gives you 24/7 access to transactions and important information such as eligibility, payment history, forms, benefits summaries, and commissions.

What to do next?

Now that you have a better understanding of group benefits, and Guardian’s expertise, take a closer look at our products and how we can help you. Whether you’re a broker, employer, or individual, Guardian can help you put together the right plan to meet your needs now and in the future.

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