Finding the best possible deal on a benefits package is getting a bit easier with the release of a Web site designed to bring employers, their employees, benefit brokers and insurance and other service providers together. Called “Voluntary.com,” the site is a “community” that functions as an online aggregator of a variety of players and products in the benefits space, Voluntary.com principal Dick Fundakowski told INN.
“The complex road of the healthcare supply chain is difficult to navigate,” he says, “and we saw the need to offer some sort of disintermediation that would benefit all parties.”
Insurance and other services providers have the option of participating, at a minimum, for a free listing. The highest level of membership or sponsorship on the site grants providers an enhanced listing of vital (financial) statistics about their company, contact information and specifics about products offered.
Members include insurers, providers of non-insurance products and services, and brokers and agents.
Employers also can participate. Employers, their employees and other interested parties can shop for packages most suited to their requirements.
Employees can use the site to shop for group discounts (it helps if the employer is a member, Fundakowski says).
“We have seen, particularly with catastrophic health and cancer-related coverage, the need for something like this,” Fundakowski says, “but even since our launch a few months ago, we are also seeing consumers searching for other valid services, such as group legal plans.”
In fact, away from strict healthcare, more employers are opting to offer a cafeteria plan of non-insurance benefits as a way to increase productivity and morale because it allows employees buy products and services through payroll deduction from providers vetted by employers.
Fundakowski confirmed the organization’s plans to make other products and services available, such as personal lines automobile and homeowners, worksite marketing and even concierge benefits. The Web site will also offer an “Advice Exchange” area, he says.
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