5 trends to watch when it comes to voluntary benefits enrollment


Over the years, employee benefits have gotten more robust and more interesting for employees. 

Open enrollment happens every year for employees to choose which programs they want to participate in, like healthcare, dental and vision. These programs have a time constraint on when they can be implemented, but not all benefits fit within this time constraint.

There are many benefits that are available year-round without needing to enroll at a specific time: voluntary benefits. 

Voluntary benefits are those benefits that are not required by law and are offered by employers to supplement their employees’ core benefits package. Examples of voluntary benefits include, but are not limited to, disability insurance, life insurance, and wellness programs.

Employees today are keen for more voluntary benefits, and want more than just traditional benefits. They want benefits that fit their needs no matter where they are in life.


Access to benefits 24/7/365

While open enrollment is for a set period of time, voluntary benefits can be accessed anytime in most cases. 

The enrollment patterns for voluntary benefits vary depending on several factors such as the type of benefit being offered, the demographics of the workforce, and the communication and education strategies used by the employer.

Here are 5 general trends in voluntary benefit enrollment patterns:

  1. High enrollment in core voluntary benefits: Core voluntary benefits such as life insurance and disability insurance tend to have high enrollment rates, as they are considered essential by most employees. Do you know what voluntary benefits your employees deem “core” benefits?
  2. Low enrollment in non-core voluntary benefits: Non-core voluntary benefits such as pet insurance or identity theft protection may have lower enrollment rates as they are perceived as less essential by employees.
  3. Demographics affect enrollment: Enrollment patterns can vary by age, gender, and other demographic factors. For example, younger employees may be more likely to enroll in wellness programs or flexible work arrangements, while older employees may be more likely to enroll in long-term care insurance.
  4. Communication and education: Effective communication and education strategies can increase enrollment rates. Employers who provide clear and concise information about the benefits being offered, their value, and how to enroll can increase participation
  5. Timing: The timing of enrollment periods can also affect participation. Employers who offer annual enrollment periods, during which employees can review and update their benefits, may see higher participation rates than those who do not have a structured enrollment period, even when these benefits are available 24/7/365.


Overall, voluntary benefit enrollment patterns can vary based on several factors, and employers should consider these factors when designing their benefits packages and communication strategies.

Communication is key here. 

The more employees know these benefits are available, the more they’ll use them when they need them.

What voluntary benefits trends have you seen recently?

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