What Does An Aging Workforce Mean for Health Insurance Brokers?
The aging Baby Boomer generation creates areas of opportunity for marketing dental and vision plans.
The Baby Boomer generation, born between 1945 and 1965, is one of the largest generations. The youngest members of this group are now 50 years old, while the oldest members are 70 years old. As they age, this group is impacting the health insurance market, specifically the dental and vision health market.
What does the aging Baby Boomer workforce and increasing dental and vision sales mean for you as a health insurance broker? The answer is opportunity.
Here are three ways this generation is affecting the dental and vision benefits market.
Wider Age Range among U.S. Workforce
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that a quarter of the workforce will be age 55 years and older in 2020. However, the Baby Boomer’s hard-working ethics may increase that projection. A 2011 AARP survey reported that this generation has no intentions of retiring at age 65. Almost 50% of Boomer respondents said that they would remain working to age 70 or older, while more than 35% didn’t think retirement was financially possible.
Non-retiring Boomers create an interesting work dynamic as Millennials, the other largest generation, enter the workforce. There is a huge age gap with differing benefit needs between Boomers and Millennials, and not enough Gen Xers to balance these differences.
Broker Opportunity – Consult with your clients and propose offering standalone dental and vision plans that offer dual-option plans that appeal to the older and younger generations. A plush dental or vision plan may appeal to a Boomer as a way to save money with age-related dental work or vision correction, while Millennials may opt for the preventive plan with lower monthly premiums. (Gen Xers will appreciate the choice.) Solve the age dynamic obstacle with more plan options.
Growing Individual Market
Although Boomers are in no rush to retire, some members are leaving the workforce for retirement bliss. Unfortunately, this also means surrendering employer-sponsored group benefits, such as dental and vision insurance. And, Boomers know that oral and vision health contributes to overall health as well as quality of life. Therefore, Boomers are more likely to purchase individual dental and vision insurance plans compared to older generations.
Broker Opportunity – The rising cost of healthcare and health-conscious Boomers present the perfect opportunity to incorporate individual dental and vision plans into your portfolio. Our sister company, Starmount Life Insurance Company now offers brokers online technology that makes cross-selling individual dental and vision plans easy.
Increase Need for Benefits Education
Employees will need more benefits communication if presented with a new plan design and/or plan options. However, today’s workforce may require more in-depth education. Millennials new to the workforce may be unfamiliar or may have limited knowledge about health benefits. This requires a back-to-basics approach to employee communication without the industry jargon.
On the other hand, Boomers may be well acquainted with group benefits, but feel uneducated about dental and vision benefits after retirement. In a 2013 WellPoint survey, those leaving or preparing to leave the workforce felt that they needed more information about the following:
- Future cost
- Coverage details
- Supplemental plan options
Broker Opportunity – Helping your group clients educate their employees will increase client satisfaction and increase group enrollment. However, this also may present opportunities to introduce post-retirement options to Boomers. Your clients’ employees are potential individual clients, and making yourself available or sending an email correspondence could result in an individual product sale.
Did we miss anything? Let us know if there are other ways Boomers are affecting your business by leaving a comment or sending us an email.