If you are a business owner or manager looking for new options to add to your employee benefits, you are not alone. Employers of all types and sizes are looking to boost their benefits as a means of recruiting and retaining. So here’s something to think about: should pet insurance be added to your package?
Back in the 1980s and 90s, we used to joke about pet insurance policies that paid mostly for burial expenses when a beloved family pet died. Pet cemeteries were also easy targets for jokes. But some 40 years later, the whole pet landscape has changed. So has pet insurance. Things have changed so much that insurance brokers and HR experts alike are fairly enthusiastic about pet insurance.
What It Is, What It Does
StarMed Benefits (https://starmedbenefits.com/), a Las Vegas company that offers third-party administrative services for self-funded health benefits, describes pet insurance as a form of health insurance for animals. It doesn’t work exactly the same way as human health benefits. It also doesn’t cost nearly as much.
In essence, pet insurance reduces a pet owner’s out-of-pocket expenses related to healthcare. When Rover needs a major procedure costing hundreds or thousands of dollars, the pet owner pays a portion and the insurance company covers the rest.
Pet policies are also known to offer:
- discounted veterinary services
- discounts on pet food and supplies
- reduced-cost prescription medications.
Some of the best policies even offer a death benefit. Like life insurance, the death benefit is intended to cover burial costs. But just like human insurance, adding extra benefits drives up the price.
A Voluntary Benefit
StarMed further explains that pet insurance is a voluntary benefit. This means there is no upfront cost to employers. They can either pass the entire cost along to employees or offer to make contributions to help pay for it. Best of all, pet insurance can be added to a basket of voluntary benefits irrespective of the type of health plan a company offers.
That means it can be offered alongside a self-funded health plan. It can be offered with group health insurance, retirement plans, high deductible health plans, and dental and vision plans. This particular aspect is one of the things that makes voluntary benefits so attractive to employers.
Customizing Individual Benefit Packages
A voluntary benefit like pet insurance opens the door to customizing benefit packages on an individual basis. For example, let’s say half of a company’s employees are pet owners. From among that group, 75% choose to purchase the pet insurance plan. What about the remaining employees?
They don’t need or want pet insurance. However, there are other voluntary options in the basket. Maybe some of them will choose a free health club membership. Others will take advantage of financial wellness and planning benefits. Still others want access to the mental health benefits the company offers.
Again, all these extra benefits can be offered alongside either a traditional group health insurance plan or a self-funded health plan. Voluntary benefits are distinct and separate from health coverage in any form.
Something to Consider
If your company has been looking for new benefits capable of attracting talent, there is no shortage of choices. You might want to consider pet insurance. A certain segment of the population has always kept pets at home. Offering the pet-owning segment of your workforce an insurance option could make a significant difference in their lives.
If pet insurance isn’t right for your company, look at some of the other options. There are so many voluntary benefits available right now that they are hard to quantify.