Ancillary Benefit Plans Course Outline

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Given the changes in the economy and the way individuals value employment, ancillary benefits are a fantastic way to help balance the needs of a diverse workforce (e.g., remote vs. on-site, economic, generational, cultural). Beyond health benefit plans, offering a variety of ancillary benefits (whether employer-paid or voluntary) can create employee engagement with benefits packages customized for what is most important to them.  

This program takes a deep dive across the spectrum of ancillary benefits (life and accident, cancer coverage, lifestyle, work/life and more). Beyond defining what these benefits are, the course examines key issues for employers, including: 
  • Aligning workforce needs and business objectives 
  • Targeting benefit options 
  • Approaches to employee choice (flex) 
  • Calculating the cost of “no-cost” benefits 
  • Developing winning communications. 
Finally, the discussion will cover how to structure, implement, and communicate these programs to raise employee awareness of how ancillary benefits add to the total compensation package. As a result, attendees will learn how to bring creativity and effectiveness to their strategic benefits program so that both employers and employees feel valued. 

Day 1

  1. Introductions
  2. Terms and Framework
    1. Ancillary and voluntary benefits
    2. Discount programs
    3. Lifestyle programs
    4. Work/life benefits
    5. Strategic considerations
  3. Life Insurance
    1. Calculating coverage options
    2. Types of programs
    3. Types of coverage
    4. Uses of term vs. whole insurance (making a comeback)
  4. Disability and Worker's Compensation
    1. The cost of disability
    2. Employer-sponsored programs
      1. Design—Short-term and long-term disability
      2. Taxation
      3. Preexisting conditions
  5. Time-Off Programs
    1. Balancing workforce needs with business strategies
      1. Balancing remote work with time-off programs
      2. DEI Considerations
    2. State vs. federal required time off
    3. Holidays
    4. Types of time off
      1. Sick
      2. Personal
      3. Vacation
      4. PTO
      5. Bereavement
      6. Jury duty
      7. Sabbatical
  6. Communicating Consumerism
    1. Value of communication
    2. Communication strategy road map
    3. Strategic considerations
    4. How/when to communicate employee benefit programs
  7. Choice
    1. Why offer choice?
    2. The employer vs. the employee perspective
    3. What is flex? 
    4. How flex works
    5. Advantages and disadvantages
    6. Eligibility  
  8. Group Exercise in Voluntary Benefits
    1. Groups discuss a series of nine ethical challenges

Day 2

  1. Review and Questions
  2. Voluntary Benefits and Worksite Marketing
    1. Changing workplace needs
    2. Evolving trends
  3. Dependent Care
    1. Child care and elder care
    2. Variations of dependent care
  4. Educational Assistance
    1. Job-related vs. non-job-related
    2. Tax issues
    3. Student loan programs and federal legislation
  5. Adoption Benefits and Other Family-Forming Considerations
    1. Employer objectives
    2. Variations
    3. Implementation issues
    4. Financial and tax issues
  6. Dental
    1. Traditional plans
    2. Sample plan design
    3. Dental plan considerations
  7. Vision
    1. Traditional plans
    2. Sample plan design
    3. Vision plan considerations
  8. Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)
    1. What is an EAP?
    2. Benefits of EAPs
    3. EAP considerations
  9. Long-Term Care (LTC)
    1. Is LTC necessary?
    2. Features of an LTC plan
    3. Design of employer plans
    4. Plan design considerations
  10. Managing Prescription Drug Costs
    1. Factors influencing drug costs
    2. What employers are doing
  11. Five Phases of Implementation
    1. Project planning
    2. Strategy planning
    3. Development
    4. Enrollment
    5. Evaluation
  12. Case Study
    In the case study, attendees are asked to redesign the employee benefits program for a fictitious company. Attendees will be divided into groups to perform a gap analysis of the current plan and design a plan to address both the employer and employee needs. Each group will report their findings and answer questions.