2020 Voluntary Benefits Survey: Part 2

As part of our series of carrier surveys, Cal Broker reached out to some of the major players in voluntary benefits. They were happy to fill us in on what’s happening in their worlds. In fact, we had so much info we had to break the survey responses into two parts. Last month we published part one. Here’s part two. Read the complete survey and responses online at calbrokermag.com. 

  1. 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?

Rich Williams, Aflac:

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.

Michael Payton, California Choice: Yes, we measure and track both production and call metrics on a daily, monthly, and quarterly basis, to ensure we are delivering quality, timely service to our broker, employer, and member customers. 

Steven Johnson, 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 have an interaction 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.  Our benefits counselors are highly rated by employees.  97% who have had a counseling session with a Colonial Life counselor say their understanding about their benefits with their employer have increased.

Brian Sullivan, Humana: Yes, to ensure consistent, quality customer service for our clients, Humana sets annual service goals for our Customer Care department. Performance goals are achieved by leveraging Customer Care teams and their skill-based training across all accounts. Humana utilizes Customer Care specialists dedicated to providing quality, timely service to all callers.

Our Customer Care team’s structure is designed to optimize supervisor/specialist interaction and includes a Resource team, which handles call escalation, monitors quality control and escalation analysis, and serves as an information source for Customer Care associates. In addition, the dedicated Training and Communications team oversees all training and promotes proactive communication efforts to Customer Care associates.

Humana’s mission is to foster a culture of customer service that is empathetic, proactive, conclusive, and encourages every one of our associates to seek ways to improve our service. With this mission in mind, we monitor customer satisfaction in a number of ways.

Humana implemented the Voice of the Customer (VOC) program, which is a client-focused tool that provides a random, outbound, automated phone survey to our members. VOC surveys are conducted daily and give us an opportunity to listen to members and gauge their experience with Humana. Through VOC, randomly selected members are asked questions about their experience after their call with one of our Customer Care specialists. A group’s members can voluntarily elect to take the survey. VOC provides detailed survey results, which are calculated with representative-level, team-level, service center-level, and corporate-level reporting. We use these results to coach our associates, provide feedback to our Customer Care teams, and to conduct direct member outreach to ensure satisfaction as necessary.

Humana also administers a customer satisfaction survey by email to a group’s members. Those surveyed include all group members, excluding those with contract-mandated “do not contact” blocks or those who have not provided email addresses. Each member is invited once annually to participate. The survey addresses member satisfaction and overall Humana performance on a five-point scale.

In addition, we are willing to perform a group-specific member satisfaction survey funded by the group. Pricing is discussed at the time of the request based on the scope of the survey. We utilize a third party vendor to conduct the survey, collect the data, and run the analysis. Our research consultant monitors and guides the process along.

 Schell, MESVision: MESVision performs member and provider surveys on a quarterly basis and reports to our brokers and employer groups our survey results. 

Jander, Metlife: 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.

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.  

Boore, MORE Health: We send surveys to all members that have activated service.  Feedback is analyzed for improvement areas. Goals are monitored and tracked. 

Stigliano, Nippon Life Benefits: Yes, we monitor.

Stanley, TransAmerica: We perform customer service surveys to evaluate the level of service we offer and we continually work to optimize those results. We also have mechanisms and procedures in place, including reviews of customer phone calls, to ensure that established levels of quality are being met. 

  1. 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?

Williams, Aflac:  Yes. We have a local account management structure to provide localized support for 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.  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.

Payton, California Choice:  Yes, we have representatives statewide who are able to assist brokers with clients, regardless of location. 

Johnson, Colonial Life:  Colonial Life has more than 45 territory offices across the country and 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, discount program for health items, 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.

Sullivan, Humana:  As outlined in Question 12, we have sales and service associates located in key markets throughout California, as well as a telesales team. Our people are equipped to serve agents in all markets in California. 

Schell, MESVision:  Yes. 

Jander, Metlife:  Yes. We have representatives who specialize in voluntary benefits located throughout the U.S. 

Boore, MORE Health:  Yes, MORE Health has a sales team in various states and metropolitan areas that can provide support. 

Stigliano, Nippon Life Benefits:  Yes.

Stanley, TransAmerica:  We have successfully built an internal virtual team consisting of sales professionals who can partner with brokers to answer any questions that arise during the sales process. We also have a stellar account team readily available by phone to take care of any business needs the employer has. Our virtual teams are incredibly responsive and have the knowledge and decision-making authority to ensure that clients’ needs are met. 

  1. 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.)

Williams, Aflac:  Yes. We have a local account management structure to provide localized support for brokers and their clients. In addition, Aflac has W-2 broker sales professionals and designated service teams that support our broker channel. The service teams will lead the broker and client throughout the implementation and ongoing administrative process.

Payton, California Choice:  Yes, we have a team dedicated to assisting brokers and their clients, including an outside field representative and inside sales representative, as well as enrollment and renewal support.   

Johnson, 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.

Sullivan, Humana:  Yes, Humana’s sales representatives are available to perform the tasks noted above and our client service representatives are available to handle groups after the final sale.

In addition, to ensure account service satisfaction throughout implementation, we assign an installation administration professional, trained in the specific sold product, to serve as a single point of contact, providing service on a group’s plan to the benefits administrators, designated HR representatives, and agents, brokers, or consultants. The assigned installation administration professional serves as the day-to-day contact for any service-related issues or concerns, assisting on items such as enrollment/eligibility submission or premium payment discussions, and they can engage other areas within Humana on a client’s behalf, as necessary.

Schell, MESVision:  Yes. 

Jander, Metlife:  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.)

The sales rep/Account Executive develops benefit solutions specifically for a customer by using his or her detailed knowledge of our product offering and a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s benefit goals. The Account Executive answers the employer’s or broker’s questions related to the MetLife quote and our product solutions.

The service rep/Client Service Consultant is the customer’s MetLife contact for day-to-day administrative needs and claims escalation. The Client Service Consultant 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 on boarding 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. 

Boore, MORE Health:  Yes, we have sales reps and account management that provides service support. 

Stigliano, Nippon Life Benefits:  Yes.

Stanley, TransAmerica:  Yes. We have regional vice presidents who consult with brokers on the solutions available for clients and to help grow their business and we have dedicated account managers to assist brokers and employers with onboarding and implementation, general account management and to ensure that enrollment is successful. 

  1. Do you specialize in voluntary benefits?

Williams, Aflac:  Yes. Aflac is a leader in individual supplemental insurance products at the worksite in the U.S. Aflac offers individual and group products as well as a portfolio of value-added services. Aflac is a leader in providing policies that pay cash benefits directly to insureds, unless 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

*One Day PaySM is available for certain individual claims submitted online through the Aflac SmartClaim® process. Claims may be eligible for One Day Pay processing if submitted online through Aflac SmartClaim®, including all required documentation, by 3 p.m. ET. Documentation requirements vary by type of claim; please review requirements for your claim(s) carefully. Aflac SmartClaim® is available for claims on most individual Accident, Cancer, Hospital, Specified Health, and Intensive Care policies. Processing time is based on business days after all required documentation needed to render a decision is received and no further validation and/or research is required. Individual Company Statistic, 2019.

Payton, California Choice:   Yes,

our ancillary benefits exchange was developed specifically to help employers expand their benefit offerings to employees, while still controlling their costs. We offer both employer-sponsored and voluntary benefits options.

 Johnson, 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 80 years it has been in business, the company has developed strong expertise and experience in the voluntary benefits industry.

We serve more than 95,000 companies and organizations to protect more than 4 million U.S. workers and their families. 

Sullivan, Humana:  Yes, Humana has provided voluntary dental benefits since 1978 and our voluntary vision benefits have been offered since the early 2000’s. We do not currently offer traditional workplace voluntary benefits such as Hospital Indemnity, Cancer, Heart and Stroke, etc. 

Schell, MESVision:  MESVision has numerous plan designs for both voluntary and employer paid plans. We specialize in vision care plans only and we do work with carrier partners that can provide bundled plans as well for other health benefits.

Jander, Metlife:  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 2019 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
  • Second in the cancer insurance market

MetLife is the largest Group Auto and Home benefits provider in the country, with approximately 44.9% market share. MetLaw is the nation’s leading provider of employer-sponsored legal plans. 

Boore, MORE Health:  The vast majority of MORE Health’s business is employer or broker paid. Voluntary benefits is a minority of the overall business.

The voluntary is a smaller portion due to the value offered compared to the premium base. 

Stigliano, Nippon Life Benefits:  No.

Stanley, TransAmerica:  Absolutely  Transamerica has been providing voluntary benefits for nearly 90 years and we are committed to protecting the wealth + health of employees. We work with brokers and employers to ensure that our solutions are easy to understand, flexible regardless of internal processes or platforms, simple to implement, and ultimately allow for a seamless enrollment and claims experience for employees. Transamerica’s voluntary benefit solutions help employees live their best lives. 

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