We’ve been at it again… this time we’ve contacted major players Aflac, CHOICE Administrators, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, MetLife, Colonial Life in the voluntary space to find out what you need to know now.
COMPILED BY THORA MADDEN
CalBroker: Can you offer some insight on how COVID-19 has impacted voluntary benefits?
COVID-19 has affected the supplemental benefits industry in two primary ways, which Aflac addressed in its white paper “Stronger on the Other Side.”
First, it has amplified the need for supplemental insurance to help address the financial aspects of COVID-19, its potential long-term health complications and any potential future pandemics. Supplemental coverage not only helps with the expenses health insurance doesn’t cover, but it also helps serve as a financial safety net if covered illnesses arise as complications of the coronavirus. After all, the coronavirus has been linked to lung, kidney and heart issues, significantly increasing the expense and length of recovery, according to experts at the University of California at Irvine.
- Hospital Indemnity plans help provide financial protection during treatment if an insured is admitted or confined to a hospital
- Critical Illness plans help if an insured is treated for a covered critical illness like a heart attack
- Disability Insurance plans can help financially if one is unable to work during recovery due to a covered illness.
Another option is Aflac’s BenExtend®, which combines popular benefits from top plans such as hospital and critical illness all in one product. In fact, 88% of employers said they are interested in offering their employees insurance to cover costs associated with diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 or future pandemics, according to the 2020-2021 Aflac WorkForces Report. So, it makes sense for brokers to have a conversation about supplemental coverage with clients.
Second, it has disrupted the delivery and navigation of health care, emphasizing the value of services like telehealth and stress-management programs and resources. An Amwell survey notes that 59% of patients who have had a video visit with their doctor had their first one during the pandemic, and over 90% of patients said they were very or somewhat satisfied with video visits. And it’s here to stay: 92% of respondents said they plan on using video visits in the future after COVID-19 quells. If clients aren’t already offering this valuable service, talk with them about it today.
In addition to telehealth, stress-management programs and resources are becoming vital to helping foster financial and emotional well-being that can fuel workforce productivity. Consider these value-added services, which Aflac offers access to with our supplemental plans:
- Employee assistance programs (EAPs) provide short-term support from specialists who help resolve personal problems that are affecting performance on the job. EAPs can assist with a range of issues including substance abuse, work/life balance, child care or relationship difficulties.
- Health advocacy services provide a personal health care concierge who can assist with numerous tasks, including explaining a diagnosis, clarifying health care coverage, addressing claims questions, obtaining second opinions, negotiating bills and finding doctors and treatment centers.
- Wellness programs such as online yoga and fitness classes help develop and nurture healthier lifestyles through virtual assistance, digital workshops, discounts, meal planning and more.
- Financial support services, including phone consultations with professional counselors on a range of topics such as debt management, life insurance, college funding, credit management and more, as well as access to financial tutorials and calculators, webinars and other resources.
In spite of COVID-19—or, perhaps, because of it—interest among employers for voluntary benefits continues to be high. Employees also continue to be interested because voluntary benefits give them the opportunity to personalize their coverage to match their individual or family health care needs.
COVID-19 has radically changed the workplace. More than ever, employees want and need voluntary benefits that offer the flexibility to personalize their benefit options for their unique needs. We’ve all been reminded that life is full of unexpected moments, and employees want to feel confident they are prepared for those unforeseen challenges. As organizations continue to adjust to a new ‘normal’ of social distancing and hybrid work environments, the need for flexible enrollment methods that provide employees access to benefits and education has never been greater. Colonial Life provides financial protection and personalized benefits to help our clients and employers successfully and quickly pivot to an engaging and flexible enrollment experience.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America:
The pandemic has shed a light on the value of voluntary benefits with a growing interest from brokers in the products that can help their clients with unexpected medical costs, such as hospital indemnity insurance. While enrollment activity for voluntary benefits has decreased slightly this year, we expect more employees to participate in upcoming voluntary benefits enrollment because COVID-19 has increased employee awareness of the importance of voluntary benefits. For example, life insurance is a product where sales have increased on the individual side, and one that brokers should consider educating their clients on as a value add in the workplace.
The recent pandemic has shed more light on the importance of voluntary benefits and the role they play to continually provide protection to employees and their dependents when it comes to unforeseen financial hardships. Since products like Critical Illness and Hospital Indemnity insurance can provide a benefit payout for someone that is diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19, we have seen an increased interest in employers offering these benefits. We have also seen employers possibly entertaining employer paid benefits as well. While it is too early to tell how this will all play out, we feel voluntary benefits like these have been elevated in the mindset of both employers and employees.
CalBroker: List the voluntary/employeepaid benefits that you offer along with the minimum group size for each offering.
Aflac’s supplemental insurance policies can complement any benefits package by offering an additional layer of financial protection if the unexpected happens. Aflac offers both group and individual plans ranging from Life and Disability to Hospital Indemnity and Critical Illness. Additionally, Aflac’s supplemental coverage provides cash benefits paid directly to the insured (unless otherwise assigned) to help with the expenses health insurance doesn’t cover. Aflac pays cash benefits quickly so insureds can focus on recovery instead of their bills.
Aflac offers the following individual coverage:
- Cancer/Specified Disease
- Specified Health Event
- Aflac Dental Insurance Supplemental Plan
- Hospital Confinement Indemnity
- Life: Whole, Term and Juvenile
- Lump Sum Critical Illness
- Short-Term Disability
- Aflac Vision Insurance Supplemental Plan
Aflac Group offers the following group coverage:
- Short and Long-Term Disability
- Critical Illness
- Hospital Indemnity
- Whole and Term Life
- Aflac Dental
- Aflac Vision
In order for clients to establish an account, Aflac requests they complete and sign a Payroll Account Acknowledgement form and allow three separate W-2 employees to apply for at least one Aflac policy. To establish group billing, Aflac Group requires a minimum of 25 payers.
We offer a variety of benefits that can be offered on a voluntary or employer-sponsored basis including:
- Employer-sponsored Dental (2-199 employees)
- Voluntary Dental (10-199 employees)
- Employer-sponsored Vision (2-199 employees)
- Voluntary Vision (2-199 employees)
- Employer-sponsored Chiropractic & Acupuncture (2-199 employees)
- Voluntary Chiropractic & Acupuncture (2-199 employees)
- Employer-sponsored Life Insurance (2-199 employees)
Colonial Life provides critical support to employees and their families when the unexpected happens. Our offerings include Disability, Life, Accident, Critical Illness, Cancer, Dental and Vision benefits, available to employer groups of at least three benefit eligible employees.
Guardian offers voluntary Accident, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Cancer, Critical Illness, Dental, Hospital Indemnity, Life (Term and Permanent), Long Term Disability, Short Term Disability and Vision.
- Permanent Life offered to groups of at least 26 lives
- Voluntary Term Life, Accidental
- Death & Dismemberment, Short Term
- Disability and Long Term Disability require a minimum of 4 enrolled employees All our other voluntary group coverages can be offered to groups with as few as 2 employees
We offer the following:
- Accident Insurance – 100 lives
- Hospital Indemnity Insurance – 100 lives
- Critical Illness Insurance – 100 lives
- Cancer Insurance – 100 lives
- Auto and Home Insurance – 100 lives;
- Legal Plan (MetLaw®) – 100 lives
- Worksite Short Term Disability – 100 lives
- Pet Insurance – 100 lives
- Health Savings Account (HSA) – 1 life
- Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – 1 life
- Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (LP-FSA) – 1 life
- Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DC-FSA) – 1 life
- Commuter Benefits – 1 life
CalBroker: Do you have any benefit offerings for employees that work fewer than 40 hours a week?
Yes, we do. Aflac individual and group plans are available for full-time employees, as defined by the client, who work fewer than 40 hours a week. Please note the following:
Individual Accident Disability Rider and Short-term Disability policies: Employees must work a minimum of 19 hours a week.
Group plans: Employees must work a minimum of 16 hours a week, with the exception of group Disability. In order to be eligible for worksite Disability, employees must work a minimum of 19 hours a week, and for true-group disability, employees must work at least 20 hours a week.
Yes, we offer everything listed in the previous question to employees working 20 hours or more per week.
Yes, Colonial Life offers flexible benefit solutions for both full and part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week. In some cases, we offer benefit solutions for part-time employees working 17.5 hours per week.
Yes. Guardian offers benefits to employees that work less than 40 hours a week. Our product offerings vary according to whether the employee works 30 hours or 20 hours a week.
Yes. For our voluntary benefit products, we look to the employer to determine the group’s definition of eligibility. While 30 hours is a common threshold for full-time consideration, some states mandate that employees working fewer hours be considered for benefits. During a group’s implementation, we will confirm the number of hours to be considered full time and whether part-time employees will also be eligible for coverage. We 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.
Employees must be actively at work to be eligible for our voluntary benefits. Actively at work means that employees are performing all the usual and customary duties of their jobs on a full-time basis. This must be done at:
- The group policyholder’s place of business
- An alternate place approved by the group policyholder
- A place to which the group policyholder’s business requires them to travel.
CalBroker: Do you offer flexible enrollment data, billing capabilities and processes that work with the employer’s systems?
Yes. Aflac has the tools and flexibility to meet the unique needs of businesses of all sizes—from benefits marketing and education, to enrollment solutions and multiple billing options. We will work with employers to design a seamless experience tailored to their business.
Aflac has found that the key to a great billing experience is understanding the client’s technical and payroll capabilities and assisting them with selecting the billing option that best fits their wants and needs. Aflac has the ability to work with employers’ systems as well as work with a wide range of third-party billing companies should the need arise.
We are working toward an integration with online enrollment platforms. However, at this time, our enrollment data and processes are not integrated. Billing data is broken down to display employer and employee contributions— making payroll deductions easier, whether it’s handled in-house by the employer or through an external vendor.
Yes, Colonial Life leverages technology and our flexible enrollment capabilities to help fulfill the unique needs of groups of all sizes. Our approach combines people and technology to streamline and simplify all aspects of enrollment and improve the overall customer experience.
Colonial Life’s proprietary enrollment system, Harmony, is available to employers at no cost. Daily enrollment reporting includes data from employees who have met with benefit counselors to select coverage. This data helps plan administrators make real-time adjustments and assess enrollment progress daily.
When a platform is already in place, Harmony can seamlessly connect with various benefits administration and Human Resource Information System (HRIS) software, allowing employees to enroll in core and voluntary benefits securely in one place.
There are options to build group products on HRIS systems for qualified customers.
After enrollment, there are solutions to help employers receive and adjust bills and make payments easily online.
We have tools in place to meet the unique needs of businesses. With respect to enrollment data, we have electronic data connections with over 300 entities. We leverage Electronic Data Interchange file transfer process where member data is sent quickly and securely via a secured transfer protocol. In addition to our own online enrollment portal, we also have partnerships with multiple benefits technology vendors for benefits enrollment and administration.
With respect to billing, we offer traditional group billing which includes list bill, self-bill and self-admin billing options. For voluntary products, we also offer more flexible payroll billing. Finally with payroll billing, we can support the following: monthly variable billing, payroll frequency billing, seasonal billing, billing in arrears, payroll slotting, and flexible payroll deduction reports.
Yes. As the billing service provider for our products, we can work with virtually any TPA, benefit administration system or technology platform. We offer a platform-neutral payroll, time and attendance HRIS file feed at no additional charge. This feed can be linked with the customer’s payroll and/ or time and attendance systems to provide updates. We will assist with appropriately mapping the fields on the file to a customer’s internal or third-party systems.
We are experienced and flexible in our ability to integrate with enterprise systems and enrollment firms to present a seamless enrollment process and ongoing administration. Our five most-used benefit administration vendors across all markets are swift, businessolver, Empyrean, PlanSource and Benefitfocus.
CalBroker: Do you offer the flexibility to conduct enrollments through oneon-one benefit sessions, group meetings, call centers and online self-enrollments?
Yes. Aflac has the flexibility to conduct enrollments through each of these methods—virtual or in-person one-onone benefit sessions, group meetings, call centers and online self-enrollments. Especially considering the pandemic environment and the need for safe distancing practices, Aflac offers virtual enrollment through videoconference and phone. However, the availability of each method is determined by the number of eligible employees and state regulations.
Yes, we commonly provide benefit enrollment sessions in person at group meetings (where and when permitted), and via telephone/conference call. In response to COVID-19, we now offer virtual enrollment meetings.
Yes. We offer multiple enrollment solutions:
- Group meetings: Our team of benefit experts can conduct group presentations in-person or virtually, prior to 1-to-1 benefit counseling sessions or as an alternative enrollment option.
- Custom communications: Personalized benefits communication and education based on each group’s unique needs is available. We leverage email, digital postcards, custom websites, mobile apps, and digital benefits booklets to engage employees. Workers can also take advantage of our online scheduler to register for 1-to-1 benefit counseling sessions.
- Personal benefit counseling sessions: It’s a powerful tool to help employees understand available options. We can assist employees working in multiple or remote locations and in various shifts. Multilingual counselors are available to offer assistance in person, over the phone or in video meetings.
Yes, we have capabilities to do virtual 1x1s, group meetings and benefit fairs. We have a call center and self-enrollment capability and also several key partners that provide such support on our behalf.
Yes. We partner with many companies (i.e., enrollment firms, technology vendors, third-party administrators and human resource outsourcing firms) who specialize in online enrollment and who deliver a high quality, flexible and relevant environment for employers and employees.
During the annual benefit enrollment period, we will ask that our voluntary products are programmed as an on-ballot benefit option with a yes/no benefit election decisions alongside the customer’s medical, disability and life insurance. We can supply suggested text to the customer or their enrollment firm that will provide an overview of the products as well as the rates.
Upon request, we can provide onsite support before or during the customer’s open enrollment period for group meetings and benefit fairs with more than 100 employees at one location. Onsite support for wellness and non-enrollment related events is typically provided for group meetings with 100 employees on location, and benefit fairs with more than 250 employees at one location.
An Onsite Services Enrollment Representative will work with the employer, their TPA or broker, to determine what types of meetings can be supported. Enrollment methods include:
- Group informational meetings followed by individual enrollment assistance
- Employee group meetings
- Train-the-trainer sessions for HR staff Benefit or health fairs
Our Onsite Services team works with over 400 benefit counselors across the country. These benefit counselors average 10 years of industry experience. Typically, there is no cost associated with these services.
CalBroker: Do you honor broker-of-record letters?
Yes, Aflac accepts these.
Yes, we honor broker-of-record letters.
Yes. Once received, the new broker will be placed on the account and will receive renewals on the in-force group product policies moving forward.
Yes, Guardian honors broker-of-record letters.
Yes. We 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. This commitment is provided as long as the request is not inconsistent with any statutory laws or in-force compensation agreement.
Calbroker: Do you offer simple and hassle-free account billing and payment processes?
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.
Yes, our bill is itemized to make it easy to understand. Employers can mail us a check, but we are seeing a growing number of our customers either paying online or setting up auto-pay.
Yes. Simplified benefits administration, including billing management, is core to our customer service model. We offer several electronic services that allow plan administrators to receive, adjust bills and make payments easily online. Account designated billing managers are also available to help answer any questions.
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.
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.
However, unlike our other group products, our Pet insurance and Auto & Home enroll employees individually.
Calbroker: Does your billing system allow plan administrators to make online deletions and changes to their plan account?
Yes, one of Aflac’s billing options is an online invoicing portal for the employer to review current participants, plan levels and billing information. This portal is where the employer would reconcile their invoice monthly. 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 can save time and money, as their electronically remitted payments and changes are processed faster.
Yes, employers can make deletions or other changes to their account online.
Yes. With the Colonial Life For Clients
Guardian’s benefit Website offers a one-stop source for plan administrators to manage their account online. Portal, plan administrators can easily make changes and update employees’ coverage online.
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 account for added and/ or deleted members. Additionally, if a plan administrator is using a benefits administration (ben admin) system that Guardian integrates with, the plan administrator can make changes in the ben admin and Guardian will receive updates via data feeds.
Yes. Through our online billing system, per-pay-period deduction amounts can be changed in accordance with each payroll run.
CalBroker: Does your billing/payroll deduction process make it easy for the employer to offer multiple products?
Aflac offers many billing options designed to meet a variety of needs. Aflac can handle almost any type of billing layout and accommodate several billing methods (e.g., list bill, self-bill, summary bill, self-accounting).
Absolutely! This is exactly why so many employers like ChoiceBuilder. We offer multiple products through a single program. It’s a different experience for employers and members because we’re different – California Different. Billing is broken down to display each selected type of coverage and the company issuing the policy. It shows the employer’s contribution and the contribution for each employee. This makes it easy for an employer to pay for coverage, while also providing an itemized list of what their employees have selected.
Yes. We can enroll an employer’s core and voluntary benefits and provide the account with enrollment data on employee elections. Employers can securely submit this information through the Colonial Life for Clients portal and reconcile the bills to eliminate additional work.
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. In addition to standard list bill, Guardian also supports, Self-Bill and Self-Admin Billing.
We will accommodate a customer’s preference. We can offer a single voluntary benefit deduction for numerous benefits or separate deductions for each benefit on one bill.
CalBroker: Does your system offer online searches for employee policy status, coverage effective dates and policy/coverage type?
Aflac offers online services for policyholders who have an individual insurance policy. Policyholders can log on to myaflac.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 for their
- File claims quickly using Aflac Smart-Claim®
Aflac is in the process of updating its digital claims experience for group plans in 2021 as part of our Digital-First program designed to provide ease of service for our customers.
Yes, employers can view all of this information, by line of coverage, at www. choicebuilder.com.
Yes. Plan administrators can leverage the Colonial Life for Clients portal to easily manage and access their company’s benefits administration information, including employee policy status, coverage effective dates along with policy/coverage type.
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.
Our online billing system allows the employer to sort the bill by different criteria for group products. As previously noted, employees enroll individually for our Pet and Auto & Home policies.
Calbroker: Do you offer downloadable claim forms?
Yes. Aflac policyholders who have an individual insurance policy may download claim forms from myaflac. com or file online via Aflac SmartClaim® (Aflac.com/claims). For Aflac Group claims, forms may be downloaded as well as submitted online at aflacgroupinsurance.com/customerservice/file-a-claim, with an update to our digital claims experience coming in 2021.
This question does not apply to ChoiceBuilder, as we do not administer claims.
Yes. We offer multiple convenient ways to file claims. Policyholders and plan administrators can access downloadable claims forms at ColonialLife.com or leverage our simple online claim submission option.
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.
Calbroker: Do you require carrier reps to have comprehensive knowledge of all the products they deal with?
Yes. Aflac’s W-2 group reps and independent agents go through training to learn about products and processes particular to the company.
Yes, both our inside and outside sales representatives are trained to answer any product-related questions from brokers. We also have knowledgeable customer service team members available through our toll-free number to answer employer and employee/member questions.
Yes. Colonial Life’s 10,000+ national organization of benefit experts received training through our comprehensive training platform, My Learning Connection.
Yes. Guardian sales representatives achieve a high level of comprehensive knowledge of the Guardian products they present through intensive and ongoing training. Guardian has a dedicated sales training team that helps to on-board new sales reps and provides ongoing regular training via virtual and classroom settings. Additionally, the sales teams have access to Practice Leaders for Life, Disability and Supplemental Health products that they can leverage to gain additional product knowledge.
Yes. Our licensed representatives have extensive experience designing benefit programs for all MetLife group products.
CalBroker: How does your company support good working relationships between brokers and carrier reps?
Aflac has a strong history of working with brokers. In 2015, Aflac established a national, W-2 team of experienced group reps focused on broker partnerships and large employers. Since then, we have continued to expand and evolve our model so we are able to serve large national brokerage houses as well as smaller, regional broker firms. Our reps are assigned by brokers, giving them the best opportunity to build relationships and ensure Aflac is meeting the needs of our partners.
We have reps both in the field and on the phone that support our brokers with respect to tools, training, processes and service support. Their job is to engage with brokers to develop strong and lasting relationships by providing “Service of Unequalled Excellence.”
Colonial Life leverages compassion, expertise and technology to offer our broker partners and their clients a streamlined benefits and enrollment experience. But at our heart is people helping people. We have a team of regional broker managers supporting national alliance partners and interacting with worksite specialist brokers.
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 supports local relationships in delivering on this promise. Additionally, Guardian has practice leaders that help reps position and explain Guardian solutions such as Worksite and Absence Management. Guardian also has a Strategic Partnerships team that facilitates stronger partnerships with broker firms at the local and national level to develop unique solutions to meet client’s needs.
We have a broker-centric model with a dedicated team, access to experts and simplified processes and technology. Our model is designed to work the way you do and ensure that our team is responsive, accountable and has access to resources that will help support and grow your business.
CalBroker: Do you offer marketing materials that are easy to present and simple for clients to understand?
With 65 years of experience in supplemental coverage and a brand that nearly 9 out of 10 people recognize today, Aflac’s worksite marketing materials are designed to create awareness, improve understanding and increase participation in benefit programs. Whether supporting a small
Yes, we offer a diverse array of marketing materials written and designed to be easy to understand. Several of our broker and consumer materials have earned recognition in national design competitions. Business or large corporation with complex logistics, Aflac can help your clients reach employees through various channels, such as:
- Brochures and flyers
- Posters and tent cards
- Payroll stuffers and direct mail
- Product videos
- Microsites, web banners and emails
- Sponsored ads on social media
- Augmented reality
- Beacon technology
Yes, we offer a diverse array of marketing materials written and designed to be easy to understand. Several of our broker and consumer materials have earned recognition in national design competitions.
Yes. Colonial Life marketing materials help educate our broker’s clients and their employees. We understand each employer, and each one of their employees, has unique needs and challenges. That’s why we offer a variety of marketing assets and custom enrollment communication tools.
Our brand, “Everyone Deserves a Guardian” reflects our commitment to be simple and approachable for today’s consumers, so our print and digital marketing materials aim to accomplish this. One notable example is our new “Simply Put” voluntary benefits video series that we launched to help employees understand what voluntary benefits are and address common voluntary benefits questions. Go to our site at https://www.guardianlife.com/ voluntary-benefits/simply-put.
We also understand that customization is key in helping create awareness and understanding of our insurance products. As a result, we offer standardized and semi-customized marketing materials for the smaller end of the market. For larger cases, in addition to our standard materials, we can also provide customized marketing materials. Additionally, our Enrollment and Technology Consultancy team works to ensure there is a well-planned employee level communications strategy in place.
Yes. We offer a broad range of materials that clearly 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.
One of the keys to successfully enrolling current employees and new hires in voluntary benefits is using communication strategies that reflect the demographics of a group’s employees, the available budget and the customer’s participation expectations. We will work collaboratively with our customers to design tailored communication campaigns that promote awareness, education and enrollment in our products.
CalBroker: Do you offer materials in any languages other than English?
Yes. Aflac offers access to Spanish-language materials as well as those in English.
Yes, we offer materials in Spanish as well as English. Some carrier-supplied materials are available in additional
Yes. Colonial Life’s benefit counselors are also able to educate multilingual employees.
We do offer some marketing materials in Spanish.
We provide marketing materials for employers and employees in Spanish at no extra cost. These materials include product overviews, FAQs and slip sheets.
Additional materials can be translated on an as-needed basis to ensure that employees will be able to make informed decisions about their voluntary benefits. The charge for translating and publishing materials varies by the amount of content, the language and other factors.
CalBroker: 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 constantly measures our customer satisfaction level with policyholders and business accounts in a variety of ways, such as surveys and audits, to ensure we are meeting our established customer service goals and standards. 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 our Quality Assurance department. Each major business function is sampled monthly. Additionally, for quality scoring, a minimum of five audits per month for each customer service center representative are guaranteed. 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.
Yes, we measure and track both production and call center metrics on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis to ensure we are delivering quality, timely service to our broker, employer and member customers.
We provide superior customer service to brokers, employer, and policyholders. We set 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 have an interaction with a Colonial Life benefits counselor are asked to rate their benefit counseling experience following enrollment. Every account participating in the post-enrollment survey receives a report card with the survey results.
Guardian puts the customer first, so we make it a priority to ensure our customers are getting the best service and that we are meeting their needs. We set goals, track and report the results each year. We also do regular Voice of the Customer surveys and monitor our Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score to make sure we are hearing what is important to our customers. For our Large Market customers, we have a dedicated Account Services manager who handles all service-related items related to the group.
We have always viewed the delivery of high-quality customer service as a key element in our partnership with our customers. Our Voice of the Customer Satisfaction Survey program ensures that we solicit input from our customers and their employees and implement changes to improve the process when and where necessary.
Our research firm, Radius Global, conducts annual Client Service and Implementation surveys on our behalf for our group customers. The surveys are conducted to measure satisfaction with various aspects of our service and to evaluate the overall relationship between customers and their Client Service Team and to help assess our performance during the implementation process within 60 days of the effective date.
Upon request, we can provide utilization reporting to group customers. Each voluntary product has a set of service goals and performance standards. Whether we provide performance guarantees with a percentage of premium at risk depends on the customer-specifics and which products are sold.
CalBroker: Do you have an established local sales and service team that can provide critical service in the same cities the broker’s clients are in?
Yes. We have a local account management structure to provide localized support for brokers and their clients. The company also offers a team of dedicated, W-2 group reps in every major metropolitan area to support and service Aflac’s brokers and their clients. In addition, Aflac has a team of independent sales agents licensed to sell Aflac products 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. Aflac’s agent distribution model and broker sales team can help you manage your clients’ open enrollment needs no matter the size or location.
Yes, we have local sales and service team members statewide to assist brokers with clients, regardless of location.
Yes. Colonial Life’s nationwide team of benefit experts can provide local enrollment support and service to our broker partners and their clients without additional expenses. This team includes more than 5,000 benefit counselors who can provide on-site support across the country.
Guardian has more than 40 local sales offices nationwide to support the needs of brokers and their clients. Our team in California is led by Joe Stefano, divisional VP for Western US, with offices in both Northern and Southern California. We have regional sales directors, regional service managers, sales reps, account managers and key account managers that support the sales and service function at the regional level.
Yes. We have representatives who specialize in voluntary benefits located throughout the U.S.
CalBroker: Do you have sales reps and service reps? (A sales rep helps the broker market and position products, manage blocks of business and develop target markets. A service rep helps implement and fulfill account enrollments.)
Yes. We have local service teams that provide localized support for brokers and their clients. The service teams lead the broker and client throughout the implementation and ongoing administrative process. In addition, Aflac has W-2 group reps and account executives that focus on new sales, growing the inforce block of business, and assisting the broker in product and market positioning.
We have a team of dedicated employee benefits professionals to assist brokers and their clients, including an outside field representative, inside sales representative, and enrollment and renewal specialists. We also have a fully staffed Customer Service Center that supports brokers, groups and members.
Yes. Colonial Life’s national team of benefit experts has specialized roles they perform during the enrollment process. Sales professionals work with brokers and their clients to develop voluntary benefit strategies to help clients solve their benefit challenges. Account coordinators help manage enrollment, and benefits counselors meet with employees to educate and assist with selecting plans to meet their needs.
Yes. Guardian has local sales representatives to help brokers market our products. We also have account managers and key account managers dedicated to growing the business, renewal placement and persistency. Additionally, we work with operational staff to ensure cases are implemented smoothly, and that we have met the needs of the client.
Yes. Our sales and service teams work together to meet the needs of brokers and their customers. The core members of the service team are the account executive (sales rep) and the client service consultant (service rep).
Account executive (AE) – the sales rep/ AE develops benefit solutions specifically for a customer by using his or her detailed knowledge of our products and a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s benefit goals. The AE answers the employer’s or broker’s questions related to the MetLife quote and our product solutions.
Client service consultant (CSC) – The service rep/CSC is the customer’s MetLife contact for day-to-day administrative needs and claims
Many times in the supplemental insurance business, companies tend to use the same approach to market similar benefits. Aflac is different escalation. The CSC facilitates resolutions for billing inquiries, provides reporting, escalates claim inquiries, and coordinates plan changes.
After notice of a sale, each customer is assigned an implementation leader (IL) who will coordinate and manage the implementation. The IL designs a project plan and timeline for onboarding or transitioning the benefits to MetLife. The IL and the Implementation Team establish connections for billing, enrollment and any other systems to ensure the account is claim-read on Day One.
CalBroker: Do you specialize in voluntary benefits?
Yes. Aflac is the No. 1 provider of voluntary/worksite insurance products in the U.S., according to Eastbridge Consulting Group (“Carrier Results 2018,” July 2019). Aflac offers individual and group plans as well as a portfolio of value-added services. Aflac is a leader in providing policies that pay cash benefits directly to insureds, unless otherwise assigned. With our broad portfolio of offerings, Aflac’s solutions suit virtually every business size and type. From three employees to more than 300,000, Aflac can fit easily within almost any benefits package. Many times in the supplemental insurance business, companies tend to use the same approach to market similar benefits. Aflac is different. We back our plans up with the following:
- Innovative marketing campaigns
- Strong financial stability
- Brand recognition
- A solid company reputation
- Responsive claims and customer service
ChoiceBuilder is an ancillary exchange, which specializes in Dental, Vision, Chiropractic & Acupuncture, and Life products, all bundled together on a single administration platform. Our benefits are offered on both an employer-sponsored or voluntary basis, and are designed to supplement a member’s medical benefits package.
Yes, Guardian has a broad product portfolio and products can be offered on an employer paid, contributory or fully employee paid basis. Over the last few years, we have developed new voluntary and supplemental health products, enhanced existing ones, and invested in new and innovative capabilities designed to support them.
Yes. Our leading market positions, innovative product offerings and 100+ years of group benefits’ experience contribute to long-standing and productive relationships with our customers. We help our customers deliver information effectively and improve employee engagement and satisfaction. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com.
Per LIMRA’s first-quarter 2020 U.S. Workplace Voluntary Sales Report, our market rankings based on new sales are as follows:
- First in total Voluntary health sales
- First in the Critical Illness insurance market
- Second in the Accident insurance market
- Second in the Hospital Indemnity insurance market