Voluntary Benefits and PPACA

We’ve all been focused on so many of the changes coming due to health care reform, but have you thought about the voluntary benefits your employer offers?

Voluntary benefits are often used by employers as a recruiting tool.

An article posted by LifeHealthPro includes this quote from a business manager: “‘We offer some of the best benefits at a competitive price. These benefits keep our employees healthier. They use dental and vision coverage almost as much as they use health insurance, for both prevention and general care’… adding that the company plans to continue offering the same, standalone vision benefit, even when coverage bought on an insurance exchange becomes another option.”

The article continues to say that while weight loss and smoking cessation programs can be seen as meddling, “No one does good work when she can’t see, of course, so vision coverage boosts productivity. Vision care as part of overall wellness also benefits employers’ bottom lines, because vision exams can spot diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and various other ailments before they become life threatening — and more expensive.”

However, voluntary benefit providers are concerned there may be changes coming:

“The coming public exchanges will require that all medical plans include coverage for pediatric vision needs; public exchanges may also exclude ancillary plans. Some vision coverage providers see this as a potential problem, worrying that medical providers will simply add vision coverage to all policies, leaving little market or accessibility for standalone vision plans.”

“This coming October’s health care reform is the biggest challenge ahead,” says Kevin Hilst, senior vice president for sales and account management at Eye Med in Mason, Ohio. “We want to see the impact on our industry, on brokers, and on how employers treat benefits. There’s no doubt that public and private exchanges will change the way healthcare gets distributed.”

What are your employer’s plans?  Are you currently offered voluntary benefits?  Will they continue to be offered next year?

Please do share your experience in the comments section below, or on our facebook page.

However, if you need assistance with your current or prospective voluntary benefits, please complete the form below and one of our experts will be in touch with you quickly!

Image courtesy of chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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