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8 benefits trends to watch in 2017

Employer-provided benefits will continue to evolve in 2017. From new enrollment technologies to outsourcing benefits administration, here’s the top eight influential benefits trends to expect in the year ahead.

Employers remain unprepared for IRS reporting, ‘Cadillac tax’

Most companies have adapted to the reality of health care reform, and millions of additional Americans now have access to health insurance. Still, confusion remains about IRS reporting requirements and the 2020 implementation of the “Cadillac tax,” a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans.

Make sure your employees don’t get (sun)burned

Business owners should caution their workforces about skin cancer. Construction workers, roofers, pool technicians, farmers, road workers, gardeners – any employee whose job includes exposure to UV rays – should be made aware of the risks involved.

Benefits Usage

There’s an old adage that says living in the past will kill your future. It’s true of life – and it’s also true when it comes to workplace benefits. As an employer, you should encourage your employees to regularly review their benefits selections to ensure they’re right for their lives today, not for yesterday.

Career coverage: The voluntary insurance need at different life stages

Strengthen your company’s benefits by offering the ones that work best for your specific employee population. Find out the types of voluntary insurance that could most benefit workers in their early, mid and late careers.

Move over, arachnophobia: There’s a new fear in town

Whether it’s arachnophobia, claustrophobia, agoraphobia or ophidiophobia – trepidation about spiders, small spaces, crowded places or snakes – most people are afraid of something. And research shows there’s a new phobia sweeping the nation, one that’s most prevalent among millennials. Let’s call it debtophobia, or the fear of owing money.

Skipped vacations, credit card debt and second jobs

There are haves and have-nots in all societies. While it might sometimes seem they have little in common, a recent study shows there’s at least one shared concern: medical bills.

Retirement: A dream or a nightmare?

As workers inch toward retirement, you might expect them to bask in the warmth of happy anticipation. After all, retirement traditionally means reaping the rewards of years of labor by relaxing with friends and family, taking long-delayed vacations and enjoying lazy mornings without the incessant ringing of an alarm clock. Unfortunately, retirement dreams have become retirement dread for many Americans who simply aren’t prepared for the financial reality of living day to day without regular injections of payday cash.

A new age of maturity

Parents of young adults know there are milestone birthdays to celebrate – or, in some cases, mourn. There’s 18, the age of legal adulthood. There’s 21, when it’s OK to raise a toast. And there’s a new age of demarcation: 26. That’s when an adult child is pushed out of the nest, at least in terms of health insurance.

Infographic | 3 Reasons Voluntary Insurance Is Essential

More than ever voluntary insurance is indispensable - see why.

Nap rooms, coffee bars and free lunches

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” the saying goes, but a recent benefits survey shows some U.S. employees would like to challenge that notion: 18 percent of participants want their companies to pay the tab for their noonday meals. However, employees’ needs are sometimes much more important than their wants.

Infographic | Accidents happen

Accidents happen. Aflac puts you in control. When you aren’t feeling your best, see how having Aflac voluntary insurance can make a difference.

Help keep employees on track for retirement

Americans spend a lot of time worrying about how far their finances will stretch during retirement. There are many reasons, but one looms large: Much of the responsibility for amassing savings has shifted from employers to workers, and many haven’t done a good job of setting aside funds for the future.

The ingredients of a first-rate benefits plan

If you’ve ever been to a county fair, you’ve seen the ribbons handed out for various feats such as pie-baking, animal-raising, pumpkin growing, jelly-making and hot dog-eating. The ribbons come in colors, with yellow for good, red for better and blue for best. Similar categories are used to signify excellence in products like mattresses, tires and even insurance plans. So ask yourself this: If your benefits plan was in competition, what ribbon would it receive?

9 benefits decisions facing employers in 2016

Making decisions about employee benefits is no small task. As your business tackles tough questions about benefits, here are nine important decisions to consider along with helpful resources for the year ahead.

Health care benefits: What are they worth?

When stacked up against its contenders, health care benefits seem to be the underdog when it comes to what Americans choose to spend their hard earned cash on. However, voluntary insurance is becoming even more relevant as health care costs continue to rise and workers take more control of their benefit decisions. Learn more about voluntary insurance and how it can help provide a financial safety net for policyholders should a serious illness or accident occur.

Better together: Why you may need a rider on your insurance policy

Your life or health insurance journey isn’t over once you’ve applied for basic coverage – it continues as you select the optional riders that customize your experience. An insurance rider can help make all the difference in the overall value of your coverage. But what are riders and how do they work? Find out by reading more.

Voluntary insurance: Go with the group or go it alone?

Most employer-paid health insurance benefits, including major medical coverage, fall into “the more the merrier” category, with employees enrolling in group plans. But when it comes to voluntary coverage, both group and individual plans have distinct advantages, and employers can choose to provide workers with access to one or the other – or even both. What are the differences and similarities between group and individual plans – and which should employers make available to workers? Find out by reading more.

Roadblocks to fast claims processing

Our infographic outlines tips to get your voluntary insurance claim processed quickly.

Voluntary insurance benefits help manage costs of cancer

Cancer affects millions of Americans nationwide. For many – including those with major medical insurance – the diagnosis comes with potentially devastating financial burdens. Voluntary cancer insurance can be an important tool for consumers combating the high costs of cancer treatment. Learn more about voluntary cancer insurance, including what it is and how it can help cover costs that aren’t covered by major medical plans.

Accident insurance helps provide a financial safety net

Accidents happen – that’s why they’re called accidents. Sometimes they’re serious enough to warrant medical attention. While major medical insurance may pay some accident-related costs, there are often out-of-pocket bills to pay. From leftover medical expenses to a temporary loss of income, accident insurance can help.

Short-term disability insurance is a key component of workers’ financial plans

Most workers underestimate not only their risk of experiencing a disability but also how financially devastating the related costs can be. Voluntary disability insurance plays a key role in financial planning and safeguarding their financial futures.

Critical illness insurance helps employees concentrate on recovery

Advances in medicine mean people today live longer lives, even if they suffer from critical illnesses. Naturally, living longer with a critical illness means paying more treatment-related costs – a possibility that has many Americans concerned. From medical expenses to household bills, critical illness insurance can help.

Hospital indemnity insurance helps take the sting out of hospital bills

Many Americans like to downplay the odds they’ll be hospitalized due to injury or illness – but the reality is that hospital inpatient care accounts for nearly one-third of U.S. health care costs. Most Americans will be hospitalized at one time or another, a fact that’s driving a growing need for voluntary hospital indemnity insurance. Learn more about hospital indemnity insurance, including what it is and how it can help cover costs major medical doesn’t pay.

Life insurance helps those you love continue to live

Businesses that offer voluntary life insurance are in good company: 39 percent of employers offer voluntary benefits to their employees, and they report that life is the most frequently offered type. It’s also worth noting that voluntary insurance is more likely to be offered at companies that say they’re growing (44 percent) than those that say they’re maintaining or declining (both are 35 percent).

7 tips for getting your insurance claim paid quickly

When you applied for voluntary insurance coverage through your workplace, you probably never really imagined using it. But here you are in the hospital and it doesn’t look like you’ll return to work any time soon. Now that the unthinkable has happened, what comes next? If you’re like most people, you’ll start fretting about finances. Suddenly you remember: You signed up for insurance at work that was supposed to help in situations just like this one.

Voluntary 101 Guide for Businesses

Voluntary insurance plans help people protect their financial well-being in the event of a serious accident or illness. Get an overview on products, out-of-pocket costs and see why employees need these policies.

Voluntary 101 Guide for Consumers

Voluntary insurance offers the workforce a way to stay ahead of the medical and out-of-pocket expenses that add up so quickly after an accidental injury or illness. This booklet addresses commonly asked questions regarding the relevance of voluntary insurance, as well as who needs these policies, what is covered in them and a quick look at four popular policies.

What is voluntary insurance – and why do employees need it?

Voluntary insurance offers the workforce a way to stay ahead of the medical and out-of-pocket expenses that add up so quickly after an accidental injury or illness. This booklet addresses commonly asked questions regarding the relevance of voluntary insurance, as well as who needs these policies, what is covered in them and a quick look at four popular policies.

Lower your operational costs

Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that companies offering voluntary accident and disability insurance policies experience lower workers’ compensation claims. A new Aflac survey of 945 benefits decision-makers confirms that making such coverage available to employees is a smart move for protecting your bottom line.

3 powerful reasons for businesses to embrace a good cause

Who doesn’t love a cheerful giver? Embracing a good cause can have a powerful impact on society and a positive impact on a company’s bottom line, allowing your company to make a sustainable difference.