Ancillary Employee Benefits Becoming More Important

March 28, 2013 ( – As more health care exchanges go online due to health care reform, fewer businesses will be burdened with a full health care plan, says a new study from United Benefits Advisors (UBA).

As a result of this trend, says the study by the employee benefits firm, ancillary employee benefits, including voluntary ones, will be a greater differentiator in 2013 than ever before. Findings indicate vast differences in ancillary benefits offered by employer size, region and industry, highlighting the importance of using local benchmarking data in benefits planning.

“We anticipate that interest in ancillary products will continue to grow,” said Thom Mangan, UBA CEO. “With more flexibility to offer attractive benefits like dental, life, long-term disability and paid-time off, employers are increasingly adding these product lines, at little or no cost, to attract and retain top talent. But the first step in crafting an employee benefits package with ancillary choices is knowing what others in your industry or area are offering.”

The study also found that:

  • Nearly three quarters of all employers responding offer dental coverage, with almost all large employers providing the benefit;
  • A regional breakdown shows membership discounts are most popular in the Northeast, where more than 5% of employers answering offer the benefit to individuals compared to less than 2% in the central part of the country;
  • Ninety-five percent of businesses replying with over 500 employees offered group-term life insurance, yet only 56% with less than 50 employees offered this benefit;
  • An industry breakdown of short-term disability coverage shows that 37% of employers responding in all major industries offer the coverage;
  • The responding construction, agriculture and mining industries offer long-term disability insurance much less often (31%) than the national average (45.9%).
  • The national average for critical illness availability was just 7.9% of employers in the survey and long-term care insurance was offered by only 3% of the nation’s employers, much lower averages than are seen among large employers.

Nearly 12,000 employers were polled as part of the study. A copy of the study can be requested here.