10:40 AM

Supplemental Benefits Give Employers a Competitive Boost



Horizon EXPAND offers vision, dental and much more to employee groups of all sizes.

By Thomas Vincz, Public Relations Manager

Attracting top talent is critical to the success of every employer. And it’s during times like these when the economy is strong and unemployment is low, that businesses need every edge and advantage possible to attract and retain the kind of employees that drive a company forward.

In this market, attracting and retaining a strong workforce requires companies to get creative and demonstrate a genuine interest in the personal and professional well-being of their employees. A high-quality health plan that includes not only medical coverage, but supplemental benefits, such as wellness, dental, vision, life insurance, disability, and the convenience of telehealth is no longer reserved for the C-suite executive. It is rapidly becoming the standard offering for all employees and a benefit that younger employees, with their greater focus on overall well-being, see as evidence of a company’s values.

According to a 2018 survey, 46 percent of workers said the availability and quality of health insurance was a key factor in choosing their current job; and more than half (56 percent) said that is a primary reason they stay at their current job.

Harvey Whille, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1262, has seen this firsthand. Local 1262 represents more than 27,000 retail food service employees throughout New Jersey. And having a wide range of health care and supplemental benefits is essential for the union and its members.

“One of our biggest obligations to our members is to provide responsible, protective health care and other supplemental benefits,” explains Mr. Whille, who is also Chairman of the union’s Employers Health & Welfare Fund. “And nobody does it better than Horizon.”

Local 1262 is a self-funded plan, and its members pay no premiums. The union has worked with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) for more than half a century because, explains Mr. Whille, “I have to ensure we’re getting the biggest bang for our buck. No one else comes close to Horizon in providing the best quality services for our members.”

And that means health care … and more. Local 1262 also contracts with Horizon BCBSNJ for supplemental benefits – such as dental, vision and more. For some employers, packaging together a portfolio of benefits can be overwhelming as it can involve numerous providers, separate forms and applications, multiple administrative contacts and varying enrollment deadlines. And those factors can also increase employer costs while adding confusion and complexity to the employee experience.

With the objective of creating a simple, streamlined and cost-effective path to a robust benefits package, Horizon created Horizon EXPAND, a one-stop insurance solution for groups of all sizes that offers a single portfolio of supplemental insurance products.

Mr. Whille says Horizon EXPAND is an ideal enhancement to the union’s core benefits package because members get great services, and centralized administration makes managing the plans and member claims much more efficient.

“Everything is in one place. We’re dealing with the same people all the time no matter what we need,” notes Mr. Whille. “Whether it’s dental or medical or vision, we have one central place we can go to resolve any issue. It’s easier to administer and it’s easier for our members to use.”

The advantages of an integrated benefits package are many, according to Christina Doan, who sells insurance solutions for businesses and their employees for an insurance broker, Northeastern Benefit Services.

“With employers having to compete for talent, robust benefits packages are more important than they have ever been,” Ms. Doan states. “Horizon EXPAND offers a wide range of products and services, and it’s really simple for employees to use and understand.”

Simplicity – for both members and employers – is one of the cornerstone features of this supplemental benefits package, according to Jared Ferguson, Director, Horizon EXPAND. “When we started planning to establish it, part of our focus was to ensure administrative simplicity for all customers. And it’s more cost-effective, too,” explains Mr. Ferguson. “No other insurer can rival the way that Horizon EXPAND unifies the member and employer experience.”

Another advantage for Horizon EXPAND is the company’s vast experience in New Jersey and its affiliation with large, comprehensive provider networks for such benefits as vision and dental care. In fact, Horizon EXPAND has the largest dental provider network in the state.

“We have deep experience engaging providers more thoroughly and deeply than anybody else can,” adds Mr. Ferguson. “Our unique, keenly-tuned insights into the care environment in New Jersey is a true differentiator.”

With Horizon EXPAND being both comprehensive and integrated, providers who serve members with multiple benefits can access a better snapshot of their health records data, which can help make more informed decisions. Plus, members are also more likely to receive proactive care from diligent providers.

For instance, Horizon EXPAND analysts can use advanced data analytics to flag those members with diabetes who infrequently go to the dentist, as they are more likely to be susceptible to health complications – information that a physician can use to reach out and check on his/her status.

Mr. Whille, of Local 1262, says that the complicated nature of health care makes having core and supplemental benefits under one provider a simpler, more efficient and more effective option for members. “So many times, our members get help they wouldn’t have gotten if all their benefits weren’t managed together,” he notes. “When you got the best, you don’t need the rest. We have the best coverage with Horizon.”

Adds Ms. Doan: “Having so many voluntary (benefits) options is a big plus. With Horizon EXPAND, employers can round out their benefits with a very attractive bundle.”

Click here to learn more about Horizon EXPAND.