Voluntary employee-paid benefits are becoming more and more popular as employers struggle to offer employee benefits amid rising costs and shrinking budgets. These benefits offer employees the convenience and the discounted rates that they would not have access to on the individual market. But how does a benefit broker choose which voluntary benefits to present to clients? This survey of insurance carriers helps California insurance agents and brokers stay on top of plan changes from year to year. Many of the survey questions came directly from insurance agents in the state.

1. Please list the voluntary/employee-paid benefits that you offer along with the minimum group size for each offering:

Aflac: Aflac’s voluntary plans complement any benefits package by offering an additional layer of financial protection if the unexpected happens. Aflac offers the best of both worlds – group and individual products ranging from accident and disability to hospital and vision. In addition, the plans offer direct-to-the-insured cash benefits, unless otherwise assigned, to help cover what other insurance plans may not. Aflac pays cash benefits quickly so insureds can focus on getting better instead of their finances.

Individual policies available through Aflac:

• Accident

• Cancer/Specified-Disease

• Critical Care & Recovery

• Dental

• Hospital Confinement Indemnity

• Hospital Confinement Sickness Indemnity

• Hospital Intensive Care

• Life

• Lump Sum Critical Illness

• Short-Term Disability

• Vision

Group plans available through Aflac Group:

• Accident

• Disability

• Dental

• Critical Illness

• Hospital Indemnity

• LifeThere is no minimum participation requirement for Aflac’s individual policies. Clients are requested to establish an account by completing and signing a Payroll Account Acknowledgement form and allowing three separate W-2 employees to apply for at least one Aflac policy. Aflac Group requires a minimum of 25 payers to establish group billing.

Ameritas: Ameritas group division offers dental, vision and hearing on a voluntary basis. Dental and vision begin at two enrolled lives and hearing at 50; we also offer individual plans.

Assurant: We offer the following, for employers of 2+ employees:

• Life and AD&D

• Long-term disability

• Short-term disability

• Accident

• Cancer

• Critical illness

• Hospital Confinement Indemnity Gap

We offer the following, for employers of 3+ employees:

• Dental

• Vision

Chimienti & Associates: We offer a broad range of Voluntary Benefits down to a one life group for individual policies and as low as two  lives for group policies on up to thousands of lives.  The following is a list of Voluntary Benefits that we offer:

• Accident

• Cancer

• Critical Illness

• Dental

• Disability – Short and Long Term

• Gap Plans

• Hospital Indemnity

• Life Insurance – Term, UL, Whole Life

• Limited Medical

• Long Term Care

• Vision

Colonial Life: Colonial Life offers voluntary benefits to businesses with as few as three employees up to thousands of employees. Our product portfolio includes individual and group voluntary products for short-term disability, accident, hospital confinement, cancer, critical illness, and term, whole and universal life.

Delta Dental: Delta Dental of California’s voluntary dental plans are for employers, associations, affinity groups and other trust organizations that wish to offer employee-paid comprehensive dental coverage. Delta Dental offers a variety of features and benefit plan designs that allow employers to offer our Delta Dental PPOSM, Delta Dental Premier® and/or DeltaCare USA products to meet their needs. These dental plans have the same quality standards, cost savings and ease of administration as our employer-financed products. Plans are available based on a variety of premium contribution levels from fully employee paid to some level of employer contribution. Voluntary plans require a minimum participation of five primary enrollees.

EyeMed: We provide fully-insured and self-insured vision benefits to groups with 10 or more eligible employees.

Guardian: Voluntary products require a minimum of 16 eligible lives and a minimum participation of five employees:

• Voluntary LTD • Voluntary STD

• Voluntary AD&D • Voluntary Life

• Voluntary Critical Illness • Voluntary Dental

• Voluntary Vision

Health Net: Health Net offers voluntary dental, voluntary vision and voluntary term supplemental coverage to groups of 2 or more. We also offer voluntary dental and vision plans on a stand-alone basis without medical coverage. Voluntary term supplemental is offered as an option to employer-paid group term life.

Humana: When your clients work with Humana, they partner with a team of experts who provide a benefits package that attracts top talent and helps keep existing employees for a long time. We excel in the following products:

• Workplace Voluntary Critical Illness Advantage offers benefits for vascular coverage and other critical illnesses – with some funds payable at initial diagnosis. All benefit payments are made directly to members, unless they specify other arrangements. Benefits are payable in addition to any other coverage they may have.

• Workplace Voluntary Cancer Plan/Lump Sum Benefit plans provide cash payments to assist in covering a variety of expenses associated with critical illness. Humana’s Cancer Plan/Lump Sum Benefit is designed to help members cope with today’s economic realities by helping protect their finances in the event of a cancer diagnosis.

• Workplace Voluntary Cancer Plus plans offer peace of mind when specialized healthcare, which often is not covered by health insurance plans, is needed. Cancer Plus benefits are reinstated each year to help offset the long-term costs associated with cancer.

• Workplace Voluntary Supplemental Health plan offers additional coverage for everyday medical costs such as physician’s office visits and emergency room treatment. Humana’s Supplemental Health is designed to enhance existing medical coverage, and members are able to use their benefits right away.

• Workplace Accident (Accident Plus) plans are flexible plans offering four levels of coverage, and provides members with off-the-job or 24-hour coverage for accident-related expenses such as ambulance services, hospital confinement, and medical treatment. Members receive benefits regardless of other in-force coverage, including primary medical insurance. Coverage also is available to the member’s spouse and children. This plan protects the whole family and has no calendar year maximums.

• Workplace Voluntary Term Life/CriticaLife is a combination of life insurance and living benefits in one affordable policy. By accelerating all or part of the life benefit, members can use the money to help pay for treatment and coping with cancer, heart attack, stroke, or other conditions. Members can enroll at work with just a few simple questions; there’s no medical exam.

• Workplace Voluntary Whole Life (Secure Life) offers permanent protection while living and a solid foundation to build a long-term financial plan on because it guarantees lifetime protection for members’ families. Whole life insurance can have a positive influence on current and future financial requirements.

• Workplace Voluntary Disability Income Advantage plans provide non-occupational (off the job) coverage for disability resulting from injury or illness. The benefit can cover every day costs such as housing, food, car payments, and even additional medical costs. Disability Income Advantage gives members extra reassurance by providing coverage with cash benefits paid directly to members when they suddenly become disabled.

• Workplace Voluntary Disability Income Plus plans provide a monthly disability income benefit due to a non-occupational off-the-job accident or sickness. Members can obtain this important coverage without a medical exam, at affordable group rates that can be paid through simple payroll deductions.

• Participation requirements vary depending on the group and its size.

MetLife: MetLife offers a comprehensive suite of complementary employer-paid and employee-paid employee benefits products. In addition to traditional voluntary, employee-paid options for life, dental, disability and vision insurance for employers with 10+ employees, MetLife and its affiliates offer the following voluntary/employee-paid benefits:

• Auto & Home (employers with 500 or more employees); underwritten by Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates: Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI.

• Group Legal (employers with approximately 10 or more employees) through Hyatt Legal Plans, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, or, in certain states, underwritten by Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Warwick, RI, and in Florida provided by Hyatt Legal Plans of Florida, Inc.

• Critical Illness (employers with 500 or more employees).

Transamerica: We offer the following:

• AccidentAdvance, 2

• Accident Select, 2

• CancerSelect Plus, 2

• CriticalAssistance Plus, 2

• CriticalAssistance Select, 2

• CriticalAssistance Advance, 2

• TransSmile, 10

• Family Legal, 10

• MyPack, 5

• HealthPakm 2

• Trans Select 5, 10, 20, 2

• TransConnect, 2

• TransChoice Plus, 50

• TransDI Plus, 2

• TransLegacy, 2

• TransSure, 2

• Sight Select, 10

• TransSmile, 50

• Stop Loss, 51

• LifeLock, 2 (Dependent on offering and enrolling another TEB product)

Unum: We offer the following:

• Group Accident, 10+

• Specified critical illness, 10+

• Group critical illness, 10+

• Group hospital indemnity, 10+

• Term life, 10+

• Whole life, 10+

• Universal life, 10+

• Group voluntary short term disability, 10+

• Voluntary individual short term disability, 10+

• Group voluntary long term disability, 10+

• Individual disability, 3+

• AD&D, 25+

• Dental, 10+

VSP: We offer vision benefits for small (2-9), medium (10-499) and large (500+) companies. We also provide individual plan options directly to consumers, so we are available to anyone.

2. Do you have any benefit offerings for employees that work fewer than 40 hours a week? 

Aflac: Yes. All of Aflac’s individual and group plans are available to full-time employees, as defined by your client, who work less than 40 hours per week. Please note the following:

• Individual accident and short-term disability policies — Employees must work a minimum of 19 hours per week.

• Group plans — Employees must work a minimum of 16 hours per week with the exception of group disability. Employees must work a minimum of 19 hours per week in order to be eligible for group disability. Seasonal and temporary employees are not eligible for coverage.

Ameritas: All our benefits can be reviewed and customized to accommodate work hours less than 40 per week.

Assurant: Yes.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, we offer benefits to Part Time and Seasonal employees as well as employees who work a minimum of 16 hours per week.

Colonial Life: Yes. All of our products are available to employees who work a minimum of 20 hours a week. Employees must be actively at work and permanent employees of the employer group.

Delta Dental: Yes. The client specifies eligibility rules. Our voluntary plans are a solution to the benefit needs of part-time employees, retirees, association members and cafeteria plan participants.

EyeMed: Yes. Our vision products are available for employees with part-time status.

Guardian: Yes. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) benefits can be offered to employees that work less than 40 hours a week.

Health Net: Yes. Health Net allows coverage for full-time employees working 30 or more hours per week.

Humana: Yes. Many of our groups have associates who work 20 hours a week. We also offer solutions for various groups and classes within one employer group including long-term care (employers with approximately 10 or more employees) and vision (employers with 500 or more employees), through Eye­Med Vision Care.

MetLife: Yes, MetLife and its affiliates work with each employer to determine the eligibility requirements for the employee population. However, we also adhere to all applicable laws and regulations concerning eligibility, which, in some states, exclude those not working more than 24 or 30 hours a week.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: Yes, our offerings are available to employees who work 20 hours.

VSP: Yes, Our plan does not have minimum participation or minimum enrollment requirements. In fact, with our support of enrollment through online tools and member communications, our voluntary enrollment trends higher than the industry average. For those clients with limiting eligibility we offer an individual plan that an employee can purchase directly.

3. Do you offer flexible enrollment data, billing capabilities and processes that work with the employers’ systems instead of the other way around? 

Aflac: Yes. Aflac has the tools and flexibility to meet the unique needs of businesses of all sizes – from personalized benefit consultations with your employees, to benefits marketing and education, to enrollment solutions. We will work with you to design a seamless enrollment experience tailored to your business.

These services are provided to your clients at no direct cost to them. Through Aflac’s SmartApp Next Generation software, we can process a large number of policies quickly and accurately. Business submitted through this software which located on Aflac agents’ laptop systems can be issued without human intervention (resulting in a 24-hour turnaround time). These services apply to Aflac’s individual policies only.

Aflac has the capability to transmit billing data to an account in a variety of different ways. Aflac and Aflac Group also work with a wide range of third party billing companies in order to make the billing process as easy as possible for our customers.

Work with Aflac for:

• Simple and quick enrollment process

• Flexible enrollment solutions

• Personal one-on-one, self-service Web, or call center enrollment options

• Single-source enrollment solutions

• Support of multiple locations

Ameritas: Yes, our goal is to keep the difficulties of administration behind our walls. We offer many flexible solutions that work with our customers’ systems.

Assurant: When enrolling non-Assurant Employee Benefits products, we give the selections back to the employer through excel files. These files can be customized if given the time to build the specific file; otherwise we have a standard format. Our products can be extracted from our enrollment platform through XML and then installed directly into our admin system.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, we have access and use many of the Top Worksite Carriers enrollment platforms including our proprietary Admin Direct HRIS enrollment system.  We offer bill reconciliation, online administration, daily reporting, EDI feeds, customer service and Tech support.  We also utilize these systems to conduct enrollments online, face to face with paper, laptops or IPads, or via our Call Center.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life’s Harmony enrollment system is built to accommodate the many specialized needs businesses have for enrollments and data reporting. We can provide face-to-face enrollments at any business location and during any work shift. We also provide employers with daily enrollment reporting, such as which employees have been seen and what they’re buying. This reporting capability allows employers to assess the enrollment’s progress daily and make any necessary adjustments. Colonial Life also has several convenient electronic services for businesses that allow them to receive their bills, make payments and adjust their bills, as necessary, online. Colonial Life also offers additional flexible enrollment solutions, including the ability to integrate real time with other benefit administration and HRIS systems. This allows users to enroll in their core benefits on a vendor’s platform and seamlessly bridge to our Harmony enrollment system and elect their voluntary benefits. We also offer the option to build out our group products on another benefits administration or HRIS system for qualified customers.

Delta Dental: Delta Dental has extensive experience working with a wide variety of employers’ systems and third-party administrators for the purposes of eligibility, enrollment and billing. We can accept eligibility transmission in the following formats:

• Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

• FTP with PGP encryption

• Email with PGP encryption

• Secure email monitoring system

• Secure website (Delta Dental pick up or customer drop off)

• Web enrollment (directly online)

• Enrollment cards

EyeMed: Yes. We make it easy to send data by accepting multiple file formats like: 834×12 file format, password-protected .zip, PGP encrypted files and most TPA and proprietary file formats. We also accept these formats through the following means of transmission: SFTP, email and through our Client Web at eyemed.com.

Guardian: Yes. Guardian offers a full range of benefits administration functionality that accommodates complete customization, and is designed to evolve as needs grow or change.  Our flexible solutions include the following:

• An online benefits administration and enrollment platform for a complete, end-to-end solution.

• A solution that combines other providers, products and services on a single platform for streamlined enrollment and administration.

• Seamless integration with leading third-party benefits administration platforms for those who already have a solution.

• Specific Services include the following:

• Benefit Administration (Ben Admin) Clients have access to a full service Benefit Administration platform at affordable pricing that is competitive in the market place.

• Integrated Evidence of Insurability Functionality Provides real-time underwriting decisions, confirms whether or not there is coverage for employees and their families, and reduces errors on an employee’s paycheck deductions.

• Employee Life Event Administration (Beneficiary Management, Retiree Billing, COBRA Services, Portability & Conversion Notifications) streamlines and eases the employer’s administrative burden

• Employer Billing, Communications, and Reporting All benefit data and information in real time in one spot.

• Specific Functionality:

• Enrollment

• Multiple online enrollment platform options (Guardian only or all benefits)

• Innovative, customized communications

• Education and employee decision support tools

• Integrated online EOI with auto approval

• Participation reports with employee deductions

• Eligibility Services: HIPAA compliant or customizable file format; flexible file submission process and ability to accept multiple eligibility file formats; and rigorous testing before going live. Billing: online payments and statements, list bill or self-administration, and retiree billing.

• Beneficiary maintenance services: online employee and employer access, re-solicitation for employee data updates, and on-going maintenance available for employer and employee.

• Reports: Reporting format available in summary or detail, payroll deduction reports, and capturing of multiple facets of eligibility administration.

• Termination Services: conversion, portability and COBRA

Health Net: Health Net has a variety of enrollment and billing options, including electronic eligibility data transmission and Web-based tools. The company also offers a standard format for electronic eligibility transmission. If a client has a preferred format, Health Net will accommodate employers’ preferred formats whenever possible. If an employer group would like to use EDI, we do not require a minimum number of members, but we recommend our web enrollment and billing process for groups with 100 or less members. For Medicare beneficiaries, Health Net uses paper enrollment applications.

Humana: Our goal is always to put the customers’ needs first. Enrollment is accepted daily, weekly, biweekly, and monthly. Humana can accept electronic transmissions via the Internet, EDI, list enrollment spreadsheet, or via its hard copy enrollment form, which is scannable for loading into the system. The Internet, scannable application, EDI, or list enrollment spreadsheet are the most common vehicles for receiving eligibility information. The enrollment spreadsheet is an option for new and renewing groups, but it would not be utilized for ongoing enrollment. Ongoing enrollment can be supported by an EDI file, Web enrollment, or paper applications. Billing can be set up as a self-bill or list bill and the client can remit payment via check or electronically online.

MetLife: Yes, MetLife, for itself, and as the billing service provider for its affiliates, is able to work with virtually all types of payroll systems.

Transamerica: Yes. We have paper and electronic enrollment. The latter consists of Translink, Common Census or Excel spread sheeting of enrollment data. We also have Web bill, self-bill and paper bill. TransApp is our proprietary web-based platform designed to make enrollments easier for producers and employers.

Unum: Yes

VSP: Yes, We support several types of electronic eligibility submission including File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and SFTP over SSH, with or without PGP encryption. Our preferred membership file format is ANSI 834 changes only. You can also make real-time updates to your eligibility data online through the Manage Your Plan section on the Benefit Managers tab on vsp.com, or by phone.

4. Do you offer the flexibility to conduct enrollments through one-on-one benefit sessions, group meetings, call centers, and online self-enrollments? 

Aflac: Yes. Aflac has the flexibility to conduct enrollments through each of the methods listed – one-on-one benefit sessions, group meetings, call centers, and online self-enrollments. However, the availability of each method is determined by the number of eligible employees.

Ameritas: Yes, Ameritas offers many different ways to enroll depending on the needs of the customer. All options above are involved depending on the number of lives being enrolled.

Assurant: We offer enrollment support with group meetings, one-on-one sessions with a counselor and call center for enrollment clean up.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, depending on the size and logistics of the group we can conduct enrollments via face to face meetings, group meetings, Call Center, online with or without the assistance of a benefit counselor, or list bill enrollment.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life offers a full spectrum of benefits communication and enrollment options, including group meetings, one-to-one meetings, call centers, co-browsing and online self-enrollments. Our national team of local, professional benefit counselors uses the Harmony enrollment system to educate and communicate benefits to employees face-to-face so they can make better benefits decisions. For hard-to-reach employees, we can offer the same benefit communication and education experience by co-browsing with employees on the Internet, meeting through a call center or setting up online self-enrollments.

Delta Dental: For groups with more than 100 enrollees, Delta Dental representatives are available to participate at open enrollment meetings and health fairs to provide information pertaining to our dental plans. We provide open enrollment support at no additional cost. Customized videos are also available in a variety of formats that explain the client’s specific benefit information and can be played at open enrollments or new hire orientations. Customer service is available to support questions about a plan’s coverage (please note: customer service does not accept enrollment). Enrollment is facilitated by the benefit administrator. Delta Dental provides benefit administrators with access to an application that allows enrollees to select a benefit package online during open enrollment and update their personal information online year-round.

EyeMed: Yes. We provide support from the very beginning by attending open enrollment events to educate employees about their benefits and to drive enrollment. We also make sure that employees walk away with detailed benefit summary information, educational collateral and sample provider directories. Employees can call our Customer Care Center, with live-agent service 7 days a week, to get help with the enrollment process. Our Member Web portal is also available during enrollment to guide employees through the process and explain their benefits.

Guardian: Guardian offers the flexibility for employers to offer a choice of enrollment options to employees.  We help employees understand their benefits and their value, and make enrollment as easy as possible. Employees receive:

• A wide array of product education and decision support resources, from on-site meetings to phone help to online tools

• 24/7 support and employee online enrollment via www.guardiananytime.com

• Dedicated Customer Response Unit and post-enrollment support

Health Net: Health Net provides on-site support, including bilingual representatives, if needed, to help employer groups with new case and renewal enrollment meetings. Additionally, our Customer Contact Center is available to answer any questions from and prospective members and clients.

Humana: One of our key selling points is the ability to offer comprehensive enrollment solutions. As part of Humana’s consumerism philosophy, our goal is to educate the employees about the products and services available to them and their families. A typical enrollment scenario may include payroll stuffers, enrollment posters, email blasts, and then a face-to-face enrollment with the ability to capture any other associates through our call center or online enrollment capabilities.

MetLife: Yes. MetLife’s simplified approach to enrollment leverages easy-to-use materials that help make the process smooth and drive employee engagement and participation. MetLife and its affiliates conduct enrollments/application processes through group meetings, our call center, and online. We work with the broker and employer to determine which enrollment/application channels will provide the best experience for a particular employee population.

Transamerica: Yes. We offer all of these options.

Unum: Yes

VSP: Yes. VSP will process the eligibility information provided by clients. Our Customer Service staff, IVR, and website are available to assist employees during the enrollment period. Here are some options employers can choose from to fit their needs:

• Member benefit summary customized with plan coverage and explanation on how to use the benefit,

• Robust social media support across numerous channels—including the opportunity for one-on-one interaction,

• Collateral that educates on the importance of annual eye exams and how eyecare can affect your overall wellness,

• Promotional giveaway items for employee benefit fairs.

• Special activities to educate employees about eye health and protection.

5. Do you honor broker-of-record letters? 

Aflac: Yes.

Ameritas: Depending on the situation, we can honor them.

Assurant: Yes

Colonial Life: Yes.

Delta Dental: Yes.

EyeMed: Yes.

Guardian: Yes, Guardian honors broker-of-record letters.

Health Net: Yes.

Humana: Yes. Additionally, all of our broker contracts are vested.

MetLife: Yes, MetLife will honor any written request from an authorized officer of a policyholder to recognize a broker or other intermediary as broker-of-record for purposes of providing such broker or other intermediary with information and/or paying commissions, provided of course that such request is not inconsistent with law or any in-force compensation agreement.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: Broker-of-record letters apply to voluntary at a case level (while the individual policies remain vested).

VSP: Yes, We do honor broker-of-record letters from the client.

6. Do you offer simple and hassle-free account billing and payment processes? 

Aflac: Yes. Aflac’s goal is to make billing and payment of premiums simple and hassle-free for your client. Aflac’s systems are flexible to accommodate a variety of billing methods and handle almost any type of billing layout. Whether electronic or paper is preferred, your clients can register for Aflac Business Services to manage their accounts at their convenience. Receive push email notifications when your invoice is ready, make payments electronically, and enjoy faster processing and more accuracy of your Aflac account by signing up for Aflac Business Services.

Ameritas: Absolutely, our goal is to take the burden off of our customers. We listen to their needs, and then enhance our billing and payment processes whenever necessary to make sure we’re meeting those needs.

Assurant: Yes, via our Online Advantage portal.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes. We offer online billing and payment services as well as bill reconciliation support.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life offers many electronic services for businesses that allow them to conduct transactions online such as receiving their bills, making payments and making any necessary billing adjustments.

Delta Dental: Yes. Delta Dental offers its clients ease of administration with our online billing and reconciliation application that allows benefit administrators to view, pay, and reconcile enrollment online.

Online features include the following:

• Invoice Presentment: Shows the details of a selected invoice, allows the administrator to attach a note to an invoice and submit back to Delta Dental’s Enrollment & Billing department, enables the benefit administrator to download an invoice and save it as an Excel spreadsheet, and provides easy access to current and historical invoices and their associated notes.

• Payment: provides a convenient and secure method for invoice payments, provides the option of paying invoices online or printing or mailing the remittance statement with payment, and allows the benefit administrator to view and track payment history.

• Group reconciliation: enables benefit administrators to submit enrollee additions, changes and terminations, includes tools to automatically compare a Delta Dental invoice to client’s remittance file and view and/or download results, and offers a view of the line-item adjustment summary.

EyeMed: Yes. We send clients a monthly invoice based on all active members within our system at that time. We can accept checks, electronic funds transfers (EFT) and Automatic Clearing House payments. Also, clients can view up to one year’s worth of invoices through our Client Web on our website.

Guardian: Yes. Guardian offers a range of billing and payment options, from online to paper to electronic fund transfer, to help meet the varied needs of employers and ensure ease of administration.

Health Net: Yes, Health Net offers simple, hassle-free account billing and payment processes including Web-based tools to help our clients and their brokers.

Humana: Once a case is sold, a dedicated account installation manager will implement it. Each case will also be assigned a dedicated billing representative who will ensure that the monthly bill is timely and accurate.

MetLife: Yes. A single bill file platform is available for all voluntary benefit group products, which allows a single customer payment on a per- pay period or monthly basis. Unlike the other group products, MetLife Auto & Home enrolls employees individually.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: Yes.

VSP: Yes, a binder check is not required with VSP. We can provide monthly online billing as an option through the Manage Your Plan section on the Benefit Managers tab of vsp.com. Online billing will allow clients the option to view and/or pay monthly administrative statements. For payment, we offer several payment options.

7. Does your billing system allow plan administrators to make online deletions and changes to their plan account? 

Aflac: Your clients are able to safely update, reconcile, and pay their Aflac invoice electronically. This automated service enhances accuracy, speeds transactions, and minimizes paperwork. Your client will save time and money as their electronically remitted payments and changes are processed faster. ­Ameritas: Yes

Assurant: Yes

Chimienti & Associates:  Yes, plan administrators can make changes online.

Colonial Life: Yes, Colonial Life offers online billing capabilities. A plan administrator also has the ability to make changes online, as well as update employees’ coverage and general information through our secure website.

Delta Dental: Yes. Delta Dental’s online eligibility management system allows the clients’ representatives to add or terminate enrollees and dependents and modify enrollee information through a secure website in real time.

EyeMed: Yes. Plan administrators can easily view, edit and update their enrollment data through our Client Web – our online portal for managing your vision plan. This tool also allows clients to do the following:

• Print replacement ID cards for members

• Download member rosters (active and termed) in a spreadsheet format

• View individual plan benefits and service eligibility

• Access EyeMed contact information including account management

• Access client newsletters, forms, training and vision wellness information

• View administrative fee invoices

• Download utilization reports

Guardian: Yes. Guardian’s benefit Website offers a one-stop source for plan administrators to manage their account online, including submitting eligibility changes that affect their bill. Plan administrators have the flexibility to recalculate their bill online to take any eligibility changes into account so they can adjust payments accordingly.

Health Net: Yes. Plan administrators can make most enrollment changes online.

Humana: Humana does not currently have online administration for the proposed products.

MetLife: Yes. Through our online billing system per pay period deduction amounts can be changed in accordance with each payroll run. Unlike the other group products, MetLife Auto & Home enrolls employees individually.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: Yes.

VSP: Yes. Clients have access to various online eligibility tools through the Manage Your Plan section on the Benefit Managers tab on vsp.com. These online tools will empower clients to do the following:

• Make real-time updates online

• Add or terminate members

• Download member lists

• Change member data

The eligibility management tools also puts clients in control of the accuracy and timeliness of membership changes, which in turn helps ensure the accuracy of billing statements.

8.Does your billing/payroll deduction process make it easy for the employer to offer multiple products? 

Aflac: Employers are looking for voluntary benefit options that are easy to administer. Aflac offers many billing options designed to meet a variety of needs.

Aflac provides invoices for payroll deductions after an employer makes them, which means they will never have to pay premiums out-of-pocket. Additionally, employers have access to Aflac Benefit Services which allows them to manage their billing information faster and easier. They can view and update information, reconcile invoices, and submit service requests online, anytime.

Aflac has also built flexibility into our systems to handle almost any type of billing layout and accommodate several billing methods. Aflac can bill an employer via electronically, online or paper. Payroll deducted premiums will then be remitted to Aflac via check, wire transfer, or through an automated clearing House.

Ameritas: Yes. We’re experts at making it easy to offer multiple plans.

Assurant: Yes through our Online Advantage portal.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, we can support multiple Voluntary and Core products.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life can enroll an employer’s core and voluntary benefits and provide the account with enrollment data on all employee elections in an easy-to-use spreadsheet. Employers can electronically submit this information through our secure website, and Colonial Life reconciles the bill to eliminate any additional work for the employer.

Delta Dental: Yes. Delta Dental has several billing and payment formats available depending on the client’s plans and preference and will work with the client to determine the best process to meet their needs. The group sponsor is responsible for collecting the monthly premiums from enrollees and submitting eligibility data and payment to Delta Dental.

EyeMed: Yes. We offer specialized plans to meet the needs of our clients – including multiple plan options such as our EyePrefer product. EyePrefer is a new vision benefits package that lets employees choose between different levels of plans that fits their specific household needs and budget. This product features multiple tiers that are unique plans covering a broad range of needs, from a traditional vision plan to a platinum-level enhanced plan with richer coverage. EyePrefer is designed based on real-life employer and member usage with lower out-of-pocket costs so employees can pay for the level of coverage they need as part of their premium, instead of at the point of purchase. We give employees a simple online tool to help them determine which level is the best fit.

Guardian: Yes. Guardian offers a single bill (online or in the mail) for all Guardian coverages a client has in order to ensure the payment process is easy to manage.

Health Net: Yes, Health Net offers consolidated billing for medical, dental, and vision products so that they appear on a single statement. Life Supplemental insurance is billed separately.

Humana: Humana supports most payroll deduction methods, combined with a variety of invoicing options. Currently, we support the following deduction frequencies: biweekly, every four weeks, semi-monthly, and monthly. Our current invoicing methods are monthly, every four weeks, semi-monthly, and 9 or 10 invoices a year. (This option, which is also known as “skip-billing,” is typically used by school districts.)

MetLife: Yes. MetLife can allow for a single voluntary benefit deduction for numerous benefits or separate deductions for each benefit on one single bill.

Transamerica: Yes. We offer list billing.

Unum: Yes.

VSP: Yes, We can tailor payroll deductions to meet a client’s needs.

9. Does your system offer online searches for employee policy status, coverage effective dates and policy/coverage type? 

Aflac: Aflac offers online services for policyholders who have an individual insurance policy— the fastest most convenient way to access and update their account information. Policyholders can log on to aflac.com 24/7 to do the following:

• Download claim forms and check claim status

• Access policy information

• Update personal profiles

• Request forms or copies of their policies

• Obtain contact information of their Aflac agent

• File claims quickly using Aflac SmartClaim

Ameritas: Yes

Assurant: Yes

Chimienti & Associates: Yes.

Colonial Life: Yes. The plan administration section of our website offers online searches for employee policy status, coverage effective dates and policy/coverage type.

Delta Dental: Yes. Delta Dental’s online eligibility application allows benefit administrators to view and maintain coverage effective dates and coverage types, make real-time updates to eligibility data and improve the efficiency, accuracy and security of eligibility reporting. In addition, Delta Dental’s website, deltadentalins.com, provides useful features to registered enrollees behind a secure sign-on, including the ability to view benefits and eligibility information, print ID cards; verify plan deductible and maximum information and view claims status and claims history.

EyeMed: Yes. Our Client Web is an easy-to-use tool for plan administrators to self-serve their EyeMed vision plan information. It allows them to easily and quickly make plan updates and see all facets of the plan, including editing and updating member records, downloading member rosters and viewing individual plan benefits and service eligibility.

Health Net: Employees/members can confirm their coverage effective date and policy/coverage type online or by calling Health Net’s Customer Contact Center.

Humana: The employee can go online to view any EOBs about any of the health-based products.

Guardian: Yes, Guardian’s online platforms enable administrators to manage their account online, including look ups for an employee’s policy status, coverage effective date and policy/coverage type.

MetLife: Our online billing system allows the employer to sort the bill by different criteria for group products. MetLife Auto & Home enrolls employees individually.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: No

VSP: Yes.  Clients have access to various online eligibility tools through the Manage Your Plan section on the Benefit Managers tab on vsp.com. These online tools will empower clients to do the following:

• Make real-time updates online

• Add or terminate members

• Download member lists

• Change member data

The eligibility management tools also puts clients in control of the accuracy and timeliness of membership changes, which in turn helps ensure the accuracy of billing statements.

10. Do you offer downloadable claim forms? 

Aflac: Yes. Aflac policyholders who have an individual insurance policy may download claim forms from aflac.com. Individual products offered by Aflac can also be filed via SmartClaim. Policyholders also get tips on expediting forms and a direct link for sending a message to Aflac’s Claims Department. Aflac also offers SmartClaim at aflac.com/claims. Registered policyholders can initiate claims online via SmartClaim to help make the process easier and faster. We proudly work to provide a one-day average turnaround for online claims. For group plans, claim forms can be downloaded on aflacgroupinsurance.com.

Ameritas: Yes

Assurant: Yes, and in many markets we have voluntary sales specialists.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes.

Colonial Life: Yes. Policyholders and plan administrators can download and print Colonial Life claim forms on the company’s website at www.ColonialLife.com.

Delta Dental: Yes. However, our network dentists agree to submit claims on behalf of the enrollee and to accept payment directly from Delta Dental. The only time enrollees may be responsible for submitting a claim form to Delta Dental is when non-network dentists do not submit on the patient’s behalf. In these rare instances, the enrollee may download and print a claim form directly from our website.

EyeMed: Yes. In-network claim forms aren’t necessary with us because our network of providers submit all of the claim information on the member’s behalf. But, if a member chooses to visit an out-of-network provider, we do offer downloadable out-of-network claim forms on our Website.

Guardian: Yes, Guardian’s online platforms enable plan administrators and members to manage their account online, including the ability to download claim forms or e-mail a claim form directly to someone.

Health Net: Yes. Employees/members can find claims forms on www.healthnet.com.

Humana: Yes. PDFs of all claim forms can be downloaded from the Website.

MetLife: Yes. For several product offerings that require claim forms. In addition, MetLife Auto & Home accepts towing claims online in many states.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: Yes.

VSP: Yes.

11. Do you require carrier reps. to have a comprehensive knowledge of all of the products they deal with?

Aflac: Yes. Aflac agents go through a certification process to learn about products and process particular to the company. In addition to the certification process, training for Aflac agents hits every facet of the company’s plans and sales cycle. Here are a few of the resources available to Aflac’s agents:

• Aflac Sales Academy provides new associate sales school, sales methodology, product, leadership, and industry training.

• Ongoing training on new plans, services, and technology led by experienced trainers in a classroom setting

• Coaching and mentoring from sales managers and veteran agents

• Continuing education courses online

• Specialized training

• Webinars and other online training

Ameritas: Yes. Our reps are subject matter experts on all products they sell.

Assurant: Partnering with brokers is our primary distribution model. Being a broker with us means a partnership with one of the most flexible, proactive carriers in the business. We understand the needs of the broker and their customers through a combination of knowledge, expertise and a broad portfolio of benefits solutions. We are dedicated to helping brokers build customized benefits solutions that will differentiate them and provide more value to their customers. For brokers who meet certain requirements, we also provided a higher level of service and training through a preferred partner program.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, our sales staff has extensive knowledge and training of multiple carriers and their products as well as underwriting guidelines.  And if we don’t have an immediate answer we have access to resources in order to help get a quick response.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life has a 10,000-member national organization of benefits professionals. These individuals receive comprehensive product training through Colonial Life College on both voluntary products and the employer’s core benefits, at the employer’s discretion. One of our areas of expertise is helping employees better understand their benefits programs, uncover their unique insurance needs and select the coverage they need to protect themselves and their families from financial risk.

Delta Dental: Yes. Throughout the year, we provide support through continuing education for consultants and brokers, such as lunch-and-learn presentations, CE courses and personalized support from our sales staff.

EyeMed: Yes. Vision is all we do, which makes our Sales and Account Managers vision care experts! Eye­Med Sales and Account Managers receive on-going training and tools to help them stay on top of vision care trends.

Guardian: Yes. Guardian sales representatives achieve a high level of comprehensive knowledge of the Guardian products they present through intensive and ongoing training. According to an independent survey conducted by JHA, producers rated Guardian as exceeding the industry standard in the measurement of sales rep knowledge or product.

Health Net: Yes. Health Net’s Sales and Account Management teams must have a comprehensive knowledge of all Health Net products that they offer and support.

Humana: Yes. Each sales representative must go through an extensive sales learning academy, pass multiple tests, and continue to be accredited each year.

MetLife: Yes. Our licensed representatives specialize in voluntary benefits and have extensive experience in designing benefit programs.

Transamerica: Yes. We require study of all producer guides and signed acknowledgments from producers.

Unum: Yes, we have an extensive training process. Sales reps are expected to have an extensive and comprehensive knowledge of our group and VB products. Their first year is dedicated to development, with a nine-month self-directed process of activities and testing.

VSP: Yes. VSP expects our sales and service reps to be subject matter experts in vision care. We provide on-going training and support tools to ensure our reps have all the information they need.

How does your company support good working relationships between brokers and carrier reps? 

Aflac: Aflac has a strong history of working with brokers which will continue get stronger in the future. In 2015, Aflac is renewing its commitment to high quality service for the broker channel and expanding our investment in both people and technology to create an optimal broker experience.

Ameritas: Relationships are key with our brokers/producers. Our goal is to provide solutions they can offer our customers throughout the life of our relationship. Our service is not just at the beginning of a sale; it remains throughout the process and for the life of the case. This takes great relationship skills among all partners.

Assurant: Yes, we have customizable marketing materials for brokers to use with employers as well as a variety of marketing and personalized enrollment materials for employees.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes. We establish and promote regular planning and review sessions between brokers and carriers.

Colonial Life: Colonial Life places a high priority on working with brokers to help solve their clients’ benefit challenges. Colonial Life has regional broker marketing managers who are dedicated to strengthening broker relationships nationally and regionally, supporting national alliance partners and interacting with worksite specialist brokers.

Delta Dental: Delta Dental focuses on providing brokers and consultants easy access to their client’s data during the RFP and renewal process. We believe that we provide more hands-on service than any other dental carrier — both before and after the sale.

EyeMed: We want brokers to know that working with us will not feel like work. We understand their time is spread thin and vision is a smaller part of the conversation for brokers compared to benefits like medical and dental. As America’s fastest growing vision benefits company, we are solely focused on vision. Brokers can count on us for simple, fast and on-target tools to educate and market themselves, establish quotes effectively and ultimately deliver our long-running 100% client satisfaction rating in implementation. We also can offer brokers our industry-leading, deep data insights into specific industries and help them seamlessly integrate our data into client wellness programs or healthcare analytics assessments.

Guardian: With one of the longest-tenured sales forces in the employee benefit industry, Guardian has a history of understanding the needs of growing businesses, which strengthens good working relationships. Guardian’s promise is to give brokers more ways to take good care of their clients. Our flexible and comprehensive product portfolio and responsive, personalized service support local relationships in delivering on this promise.

Health Net: To support the needs of our brokers and reps, Health Net has a dedicated account management team.  We give small business group brokers direct access to account management teams responsible for specific territory and broker assignment/relationships.  Brokers also have immediate, toll-free access to the Small Business Account Management team during business hours. In addition, our Account Service Unit within Health Net’s Customer Contact Center can provide claim and benefit information quickly.

Humana: Humana has a long history of strong relationships among brokers and our internal representatives. Brokers are integral to the success of our business and we provide opportunities, such as field advisory counsels, as a way for brokers to help develop the framework for developing new products and services that they believe are important to our employer groups. It is through these continued initiatives that we create a partnership between our sales associates, our brokers, employer groups, and the employees.

MetLife: Our representatives work closely with brokers and consultants to help provide solutions that meet the needs of their clients.

Transamerica: Corporate home office visits are regularly scheduled along with continuing education seminars, and sponsorship of educational workshops.

Unum: Yes, Unum has strong relationships with its sales partners throughout the United States, with 40 field offices that provide local sales and service support. Unum provides broker training opportunities throughout the year, including CE course offerings; publishes a quarterly newsletter for brokers; and welcomes brokerage firms to its home offices for information sessions and tours of its claims and service operations.

VSP: Strong communication between brokers and sales and service reps is key. We provide newsletters to keep brokers informed of changes and have frequent touch points with them to ensure their familiarity with our resources and training. We also keep brokers in the loop on client issues.

13. Do you offer marketing materials that are easy to present and simple for clients to understand? 

Aflac: With nearly 60 years of experience and a brand that 9 out of 10 people recognize today, Aflac’s worksite marketing materials are designed to create awareness, greater understanding, and increase participation in benefit programs. Whether supporting a small business or large corporation with complex logistics, Aflac can help your clients reach employees through various channels, such as:

Print. Brochures, payroll stuffers, postcards, posters, flyers and pop-up displays.

Digital. Emails, web banners, educational account-specific websites, videos and calculators.

Plus other collateral pieces. Employee benefit fair booth, Aflac merchandise and benefit statements.

Additionally, all benefit education material is provided at no direct cost to your client.

Ameritas: Yes. Ameritas insists on providing marketing material that is easy to understand. This is maintained throughout all our material, including correspondence. As far as we’re concerned, insurance does not need to be complicated.

Assurant: We monitor key service and operational metrics on an ongoing basis to assure that our customers receive the best experience.  Example measures include speed and accuracy around important drivers of customer satisfaction such as providing an accurate proposal, the installation of new coverage(s) for customers, the enrollment process and experience, and our customer service and claims call responsiveness.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, we offer custom marketing material in both English and Spanish.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life realizes benefits and insurance terms can be complicated. That’s why the company’s marketing materials are easy to understand.  Simplified enrollment materials help employees better understand their insurance needs so they can make better decisions to meet their needs.

Delta Dental: Yes. We have a strong commitment to educating all of our customers. For brokers, consultants and benefit administrators, Delta Dental sends regular email newsletters with dental benefit news and updates. Delta Dental also offers information online covering our products, dental benefit pricing and sales, an RFP submission checklist and a benefit administrator support guide.

EyeMed: Yes. Our sales managers meet with brokers around the country, educating them about EyeMed and giving brokers the information they need to help their clients clearly understand the benefits and advantages. It’s our mission to help members see life to the fullest, and our sales team is on the front line with brokers in realizing this mission. In addition to personal attention from our sales team, EyeMed provides brokers access to helpful tools and information through our broker portal. We provide them with ready-to-use custom presentation slides upon request. Once a client has selected us, we equip them with everything they need to talk to their employees about their benefit, including the following:

• Benefit Summaries – sent directly to the member’s home along with the welcome packet; describes benefits, vision wellness, open enrollment and phone and web-support tools

• Welcome Packets – sent directly to the member’s home; includes ID cards, a customized provider listing and an outline of benefit copays and allowances.

• EyeSiteOnWellness.com – one-stop resource providing a reference library, videos and downloadable educational materials on vision wellness and eye care

• Open Enrollment Support – our local vision experts attend client events to talk to employees about their benefit and the importance of eye care.

• Members App – members can download a free mobile app that helps them access their EyeMed benefit details, their ID card and more, wherever they go, whenever they need it. Find details for downloading the app on eyemed.com.

Guardian: Yes, via Guardian Anytime, our digital platform, Guardian offers innovative tools that make it easy and convenient for brokers, plan holders and members to access benefits materials and information online, anytime, anywhere.  Materials include microsites, videos, flyers, postcards, brochures, and an array of online and paper customer communication materials.  Guardiananytime.com is now available in Spanish, with videos on the site and YouTube that help explain how many of the benefit offerings work.

Health Net:  At Health Net, we strive to present ourselves and our product/service solutions through digital and hard copy sales support materials that are clear, concise, and readily available to our brokers, group employer clients, and members. For example, we’ve received tremendous positive feedback from brokers on The Desk Topper, a visual aid that helps small business group brokers better understand our full portfolio of plans.

Humana: Yes. We have a comprehensive suite of materials that brokers can present to employers and another set of materials that are designed for the employees. Our research has shown that employees want benefits that are concise and easy to understand and our marketing materials reflect their needs.

MetLife: Yes. We offer a broad range of materials that are easy to understand and demonstrate the value of voluntary benefits to employees. MetLife will work closely with brokers and their clients to understand an employer’s workplace culture, communications style and preferences. This approach, coupled with our experience and knowledge of proven communications practices, will help to ensure that the simplest and most effective communications are implemented.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: Yes

VSP: Yes. We review communication materials annually to ensure they are providing the best resource for brokers. Additionally we are always evaluating new pieces to make sure brokers have all of the tools they need. For example, we have multiple social media sites to help educate clients’ employees on the benefit of vision care.

14. How do you track the quality of the customer service you provide to employers? For example, do you set annual service goals and measure and report results? 

Aflac: Aflac constantly measures our customer satisfaction level with policyholders and business accounts in a variety of ways, such as surveys and audits. We monitor satisfaction with the total Aflac experience as well as satisfaction with enrollment, claims and billing. Aflac’s customer service quality program is administered by the Administrative Best Practices Quality Department. Each major business function, (i.e. primary, claims, and specialty) is sampled monthly. Additionally, for quality scoring, Administrative Best Practices guarantees a minimum of five audits per month for each customer service center representative. All scoring and error trending are reported weekly, monthly, and quarterly to management. Aflac’s Internal Audit Department also conducts audits by line of business in addition to their annual assessment of internal claims controls.

Ameritas: All of our customer service is measured through metrics down to the individual customer service associate. The tracking is done through our own systems and is based on all the major drivers of satisfaction for our customers. All metrics are integrated into our associates’ salaries to assure common drivers of service.

Assurant: We have representatives in five California group sales offices. Each knows their respective markets, the industry and our products. They are specially trained to help brokers design customized benefits solutions to meet the specific needs of each employer.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes. We log and track and review each year our customer service activities before and after each annual open enrollment period. Large case market reviews are also established on a quarterly or semiannual basis.

Colonial Life: Colonial Life provides superior customer service to all of its customer groups: brokers, employers and policyholders. The company sets internal annual customer service goals and results are measured quarterly. Colonial Life also works with independent research firms to conduct ongoing surveys of plan administrators and policyholders and reports those results externally through news releases. In addition, all employees who meet with a Colonial Life benefits counselor are asked to rate their one-to-one benefit counseling experience following their enrollment. Every account participating in the post-enrollment survey receives a report card with the survey results.

Delta Dental: To ensure we consistently provide quality customer service, Delta Dental records all incoming customer service calls and actively monitors a random sample of calls to identify areas for ongoing training and service improvement. Customer Service management is responsible for evaluating politeness, professionalism, responsiveness and accuracy of information provided. Service goals are tracked daily, measured globally and reported annually. Delta Dental also conducts random surveys of its members to measure, among other things:

• enrollees’ general satisfaction with Delta Dental

• enrollees’ satisfaction with their benefit plans

• the professionalism of the dentist and dental office staff

• quality of our customer service

• satisfaction with our claims processing

EyeMed: Yes. We set annual goals, measure and track results to ensure satisfaction and drive continual improvements on the client, member, provider and broker level. We work with independent research firms to monitor client and member satisfaction. Measured results include the following:

• Customer service: our award-winning customer care center was certified in 2014 as a Center of Excellence by Benchmark Portal for a rarely-achieved fifth consecutive year.

• Client implementation:  our most recent annual client survey on implementation (2013) revealed 100% overall client satisfaction for the seventh year in a row.

• Member satisfaction: 99% are satisfied with their EyeMed doctor; 98% are satisfied with their dispensing staff; 98% are satisfied with the products they receive; 95% are satisfied with the quality of their plan; 95% are satisfied with our award-winning customer care center; and 96% feel completely satisfied.

Guardian: Guardian sets service goals, and tracks and reports the results each year.

Health Net: Yes. Health Net sets goals and tracks performance against key service metrics.  Health Net’s Quality Assurance Program, Partnership for Customer Service Excellence, is a program within Health Net’s Customer Contact Center.  The Partnership for Customer Service Excellence team monitors Customer Service Representatives’ responses to member inquiries and measures quality components.  The Customer Contact Center bases its quality monitoring on a set number of audits determined by the associate’s tenure and skill level/performance.  The Customer Service Representative receives a minimum of four quality evaluations each month.  Reviews are performed by the Partnership for Customer Service Excellence team and Customer Contact Center supervisors.  We also conduct customer satisfaction surveys about Health Net’s services and support.  Information is also gathered on customers’ perceptions of other health care insurers to provide Health Net with competitive benchmarks.  The Health Net Customer Contact Center conducts post-call surveys for all callers (members, providers, employers, and brokers) across all lines of business (Commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid).

MetLife: We provide utilization and participation reports to employers at their request. We also monitor our customer satisfaction levels through our call center on an ongoing basis.

Transamerica: We track customer service results according to average answer speed, abandonment rates, average turnaround time, and qualitative analysis. Annual goals are set, monitored and reported for performance improvement.

Unum: We certainly set goals around responsiveness and accuracy of service. We also have a quality assurance program that checks to see if we delivered our services in a timely and accurate manner as well. Additionally, we survey customers several times each year to better understand how they view their Unum experience.

VSP: Our award-winning and industry-leading customer service team’s goal is to simplify our clients’ administrative work and help our members understand and use their benefits.

We back this goal by quarterly monitoring of call center management guarantees:

Call Center Management

Abandoned call rate ≤3%

Average speed of answer ≤25 seconds

Average call blockage rat ≤2%

Call resolution (same day response) 98%

Complaint acknowledgement within

5 business days 96%

Complaint resolution within

30 calendar days 99%

Average response to e-mail inquiries

within 2 business days 100%

Every year since 2002, VSP Customer Service has consistently received a wide range of customer service awards from the Service Quality Measurement (SQM) Group Inc. These include the following:

• Call Center of the Year

• Call Center World Class Call Certification

• Highest Customer Satisfaction by Industry: Insurance

• Highest Customer Satisfaction by Industry: Business to Business

• Highest Employee Satisfaction for the Call Center Industry

• Most Improved Call Center Employee Satisfaction

• World Class Certified CSRs

• World Class Certified Supervisors

SQM is a leading North American call center industry research firm voice-of-the-customer expert for improving organizations’ first call resolution, operating costs, employee and customer satisfaction.

15. Do you have an established local sales and service team that can provide critical service in the same cities that the broker’s clients are in? 

Aflac: Yes. Aflac is represented by more than 70,000 licensed independent sales agents throughout the United States. Aflac’s certified enrollers are available to service multi-location accounts and we have a national sales coordinator team to manage these relationships. In addition to Aflac’s sales agents, the company also offers a team of dedicated broker sales professionals in every major metropolitan area to support and service Aflac’s brokers and their clients. Aflac’s agent distribution model and broker channel can help you manage your clients’ open enrollment needs no matter the size or location.

Ameritas: Yes. Ameritas has both local and remote service teams to provide all critical service. If claims information is needed after hours, our customer connections department is open until midnight central standard time.

Assurant: The Strategic Benefit Advisor is responsible for the growth and retention of our in-force blocks with 200+ lives.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, with the help of our carrier sales reps and nationwide benefit counselor team, we are able to service brokers and clients throughout the country.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life has a national team of 10,000 sales professionals who provide local enrollment support and service for its broker partners’ clients. Many of the company’s accounts have thousands of employees in dozens or even hundreds of different locations across the country. Colonial Life’s sales representatives provide employers with valuable services at no direct cost, such as free dependent verification, WellCard discount program, wellness benefits communication and more. Colonial Life benefits counselors can meet with employees at each location and conduct individual counseling sessions with them. Because the benefits counselors are local, they can be on hand to help out with next year’s enrollment and any ongoing service needs. The goal is for the company’s benefits counselors to build strong relationships with employees in the account.

Delta Dental: Yes. Every client is assigned a designated account manager who is responsible for overseeing program implementation, participating in information meetings with benefit managers and enrollees as needed, day-to-day issues resolution and subsequent renewal activities. Delta Dental of California has sales offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Cerritos, San Diego and Fresno.

EyeMed: Yes. We strategically place Sales and Account Managers throughout the country in order to provide regional support. For example, you’ll also find a local EyeMed presence in California, ready to help our West Coast broker partners and clients. We also have a strong cross-functional team based in our Mason, Ohio, headquarters supporting our nationwide Sales and Account Management team in meeting client needs.

Guardian: Guardian has over 55 local sales offices nationwide to support the needs of brokers and their clients.

Health Net: Yes, Health Net has several regional sales and service teams throughout California to support brokers and their clients.

Humana: We have account executives in our Northern and Southern California sales offices, which can handle calls as part of our single point of service. Humana also has trained specialists within a central Customer Care team who engage in answering customer questions. We take pride in serving our customers. When a policyholder contacts us, they experience a compassionate specialist who provides accurate information in an efficient manner. Our specialists are empowered to assist callers completely, owning the situation until resolution. If necessary, this includes escalating to a leader or to another department to meet resolution as quickly as possible. Call volumes are tracked and reviewed monthly to ensure we are assisting callers effectively. Customer Care team functions are performed in De Pere, Wisconsin, where Customer Care specialists are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., member time zone, Monday through Friday. The toll-free number for the Customer Care team is 877-378-1505.

MetLife: Yes. We have representatives that specialize in voluntary benefits located in major cities throughout the U.S.

Transamerica: Not in the same city. We have local representation and a dedicated account manager for service support assigned to each region.

Unum: Yes, Unum has 40 local sales and service offices located throughout the U.S. with four locations in California.

VSP: Yes, We’re headquartered in California and have an Eastern Operations Center in Ohio. In addition, we have 25 regional sales offices across the country to provide local service.

16. Do you have a sales rep. and a service rep? (The sales rep helps the broker market and position products, manage blocks of business, and develop target markets. The service rep. helps implement and fulfill account enrollments.) 

Aflac: Yes. Aflac’s sales professionals support the company’s broker channel. Aflac offers Broker Account and Service representatives to assist with implementation and ongoing account service needs.

Ameritas: Yes.

Assurant: Assurant Employee Benefits is a leader in the voluntary marketplace.  The full range of employer- to employee-paid products is backed by Assurant Works, a full suite of administrative and communication services designed around the unique needs of voluntary products. Assurant Employee Benefits is the go-to carrier for any group offering voluntary products as part of their total benefit package.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes, we have a Sales Team supported by Account Managers and customer service reps.

Colonial Life: Yes. Colonial Life’s national team of sales professionals has specialized roles they perform during the enrollment process. Sales professionals work with brokers and their clients to help develop voluntary benefit strategies that will help clients’ solve their benefit challenges. Account coordinators help manage the enrollment logistics and report. And benefits counselors meet individually with all employees to educate them on their benefits, help uncover any unmet needs and select insurance plans to meet those needs.

Delta Dental: Yes. To ensure that our clients receive a high level of service, Delta Dental uses a team approach to provide prompt service and rapid response. A client’s team includes a sales account executive and an account manager. Together they are supported by account management associates.

EyeMed: Yes, we have both sales and service reps.

Guardian: Yes. Guardian has over 250 local sales representatives to help brokers market over 100 benefit advisors dedicated to supporting enrollment efforts and customer services representatives available to serve the distinct needs of brokers and their clients.

Health Net: Yes, Health Net has both new business sales and account management teams to assist brokers and their clients. The new business sales team works with brokers and employer groups throughout the entire process, from the initial request-for-quote to installation of the group. Afterwards, Health Net’s account management team works with brokers and employer groups to provide service and assist with renewal.

Humana: Humana provides a dedicated team of account executives, renewal specialists, and account installation managers to each case. We realize that much of the work begins after the case is sold and our goal is to provide dedicated resources for our clients for the duration of the case.

MetLife: Yes. Our sales and service teams work closely together to meet the needs of our brokers and customers.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: The sales reps help the broker market and position products, manage blocks of business, and develop target markets and the service rep. they help implement and fulfill account enrollments.

VSP: Yes. A significant part of our membership is voluntary. Members sign up because they find the VSP benefit incredibly easy to use and they value the low out-of-pocket costs when compared to other vision plans.

17. Do you specialize in voluntary benefits? 

Aflac: Yes. Aflac offers both individual and group voluntary products which allow the company to focus on creating best-in-class solutions. Aflac is a leader in guaranteed-renewable insurance policies sold on a voluntary basis that pay cash benefits directly to insureds, unless assigned. With a broad range of policies and value-added services, Aflac’s offerings suit virtually every business size and type. From three employees to 320,000, Aflac fits easily within any benefits package. Many times in the voluntary insurance business, companies tend to use the same approach to market similar benefits. Aflac is different. We back our unique plans up with the following:

• Innovative marketing campaigns.

• Strong financial stability.

• Brand recognition.

• A solid company reputation.

• Industry recognized and rewarded claims and customer service.

Ameritas: Yes. Ameritas has been providing voluntary benefits since 1990. We consider ourselves specialists in that arena because of our extremely high satisfaction levels from our customers and our constant systems evolutions to accommodate the needs of our customers. To specialize in voluntary benefits, we believe this is critical to achieve a win/win for all.

Chimienti & Associates: Yes. Chimienti & Associates has more than 30 years experience specializing in voluntary benefits.

Colonial Life: Yes. When Colonial Life was founded in 1939, it sold accidental death coverage to individuals. In fact, the company pioneered the concept of offering voluntary benefits at the worksite in the 1950s. Colonial Life has always marketed only voluntary benefits, and during the 75 years it has been in business, the company has developed strong expertise and experience in the voluntary benefits industry.

Delta Dental: Yes. Delta Dental has more than 55 years’ experience providing non-voluntary, partially voluntary and totally voluntary dental benefits.

EyeMed: Yes, the majority of our membership is under a voluntary vision plan.

Guardian: Voluntary benefits are an integral part of our group business. We also offer plans that can be fully or partially funded by the employer.  These products include the following:

• Dental • Life

• Vision • Disability

• Cancer • Accident

• Critical Illness

Health Net: Health Net does not specialize in voluntary benefits. However, Health Net does offer the types of voluntary plans that are most commonly requested by our health plan customers.

Humana: Yes. Humana acquired Kanawha Insurance Company in 2007. Kanawha has been providing voluntary benefits for 50 years and is a licensed insurer in 48 jurisdictions.

MetLife: Yes. MetLife and its affiliates make it simple, cost-effective and hassle-free to offer and administer voluntary benefit solutions that meet diverse employee needs and enhance benefits programs. Best of all, our expertise and tools streamline the process to deliver information effectively, simplify decision-making, and increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

Transamerica: Yes.

Unum: Yes. Unum is ranked third in-force premium in the voluntary benefits market as reported by Eastbridge Consulting Group in 2013. Unum leads the voluntary market in sales of whole life insurance.

VSP: Yes. A significant part of our membership is voluntary. Members sign up because they find the VSP benefit incredibly easy to use and they value the low out-of-pocket costs when compared to other vision plans.