Driving non-dues revenue and retention with voluntary benefits
Offering discount benefits provides opportunities for associations and organizations to improve member retention and enhance membership experience. Offering voluntary discount benefits is a great way to help an organization stand out and help provide members with much needed, value- added benefits. Often these programs come at no cost to the organization. In fact, many associations benefit from a commission share to help drive non-dues revenue.
Industry experts believe that the voluntary market will continue to grow as a result of healthcare
reform, rising group medical costs, higher deductible plans, and other industry changes.
Offering benefits that members want but may not be able to get elsewhere position associations
as an important resource and increases perceived value.
According to industry research, only 24% of association executives report taking advantage of these types of programs to engage their members and drive non- dues revenue. This provides an excellent opportunity for brokers to open new doors and earn additional income.
Popular Discount Benefits
According to the Dept of Health and Human Services, 136 million Americans do not have dental benefits.
There are many vendors available today offering dental discount plans with substantial savings on dental procedures and services. Finding a vendor with a robust network of service providers is key to ensuring higher participation. I often recommend the Aetna Dental Access Discount plan as they have a growing network with over 211,000 providers nationwide. Discounts range from 15%-50% off cleanings, Xrays, fillings, implants, root canals, crowns, dentures, orthodontics, periodontics and more. This plan has no waiting periods or plan maximums. Members can use the benefits immediately as often as needed.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 30 million people in the US wear contact lenses and even more wear glasses. Vision discount plans provide discounts on eye exams, contact lenses, frames, glasses and in some cases LASIK vision correction surgery. Many vision discount plans do not have waiting periods or plan maximums. Members may buy as many pairs of glasses/contacts as they want or need. Look for a vendor with a large network of providers.
It is estimated that 78 million dogs and 85 million cats are owned in the US. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), $66.75 billion was spent on our pets in 2016. Half of that was spent on medical/vet procedures and medications. Discount pet benefits offer member discounts on medical procedures, vaccinations, medications, food supplies, plus some even offer discounts on grooming, dog walking and other pet services. Many discount pet care plans do not have pre-existing conditions, waiting periods or plan maximums. Members simple present their card and pay the discounted rate. Look for a vendor that offers many services and discounts.
Many legal assistance discount benefits not only provide discounts but also offer free services such as one- on -one consults, attorney made phone calls, help with legal documents and more. Some discount plans offer discounts as high as 40% off regular rates. Members can save on traffic ticket offenses, name change, bankruptcy, simple divorce, simple will and more.
Senior Care Support
Senior care benefits offer a variety of assistance and discounts. Some programs offer discounts on home health care agencies and assisted living facilities. On line resources, wellness assessments, and 24/7 access to elder care experts are also available.
Identity Theft protection programs are becoming very popular in the voluntary market. This benefit provides peace of mind and security. There are several vendors offering various levels of security and monitoring. This is a benefit that association members will appreciate.
Other Benefits Available Today
There are many new products available. Here are some other benefits to consider for your association clients:
Hearing Aid Benefit
This is an excellent benefit for retiree associations or an older demographic. There are several vendors available offering discounts up to 35% off hearing aids. In some cases, a one time replacement for loss or damage plus a 2 year supply of free batteries is offered.
Another great benefit to promote health and wellness, this benefit is well received by association members. Discounts range from 10% to 45% depending on the provider and item. Many vendors also offer discounts on health foods, organic cleaning products, holistic pet care and more.
This benefit will help members save time and money on insurance related needs including transferring medical records, setting up second opinions, negotiating claims, researching medical facilities and more. This type of benefit helps members save time when caring for a loved one or managing their own health.
Finding the Right Partner
Rather than working with several vendors to administer these benefits, you may want to consider a single partner who can manage all these benefits for you- one provider with experience in this arena can be the difference between a streamlined roll out and an administrative nightmare. Finding the right partner to help you market this to your association clients is an important step. Look for a partner who will provide you with marketing materials, custom landing pages for your clients, electronic web based enrollment, cobranding or white label options, and generous commissions.