There is an interesting transition going on in the benefits business. Brokers who would normally focus all their efforts on group plans for employers are looking to expand their operations by also serving the senior demographic. It is interesting on many fronts, not the least of which is the reality that seniors are more likely to have already retired. Yet they still need health insurance, life insurance, and other products brokers deal with.
BenefitMall, a Dallas company that acts as a general agency for benefits brokers, says that the senior insurance market has been gradually heating up over the last 5 to 10 years. They now strongly recommend all the brokers and agents who utilize them for general agency services take a serious look at the senior demographic.
Medicare Isn’t Great
Seniors are automatically moved to Medicare at age 65. If you are not familiar with Medicare, it is the federal government’s version of health insurance. Here is the thing: it is not all that great. Medicare doesn’t cover everything. In fact, many seniors still pay a lot out of pocket just for routine services and procedures.
Medicare is offered in three segments, if you will. Parts A and B are standard for senior citizens. Parts C and D are supplemental and must be added to original Medicare through third party insurance carriers. Seniors pay for them out of pocket.
On a fixed income, seniors may not have enough money to put into Medicare Parts C and D, so they may have to go without. This is an open door to benefits brokers whose carriers offer more affordable options. This is why BenefitMall says brokers should be looking to extend their services to the senior demographic.
Seniors Still Working
In addition to Medicare not being all that great, more seniors are still working well after official retirement age. Some keep working because they want to stay busy. Others cannot afford to fully retire. At any rate, seniors still active in the workplace are prime targets for employer benefits geared to their demographic.
An employer looking to keep senior workers on the payroll for as long as possible could offer a benefits package tailored to their needs. The package could be as simple as supplemental insurance that compliments Medicare coverage. It could also include things like long term disability insurance, life insurance, and wellness benefits.
A Market Waiting to Be Tapped
The long and short of it is that the senior demographic represents a market waiting to be tapped. BenefitMall and its competitors know this, which is why they are starting to add new carriers to their general agency services, carriers developing new products specifically for the senior market. Those products only stand to mature as larger numbers of baby boomers hit retirement age.
Meanwhile, it is also pretty clear that younger workers are no longer content with the same benefits their parents and grandparents had access to. A modern workforce consisting mainly of millennials and Gen Z’ers view health insurance as just the beginning. They expect a standard health package that includes dental and prescription drugs. They are looking for employers to add things like:
- student loan payment assistance
- long term disability insurance
- increased paid time off (PTO)
- remote work flexibility
- flexible scheduling options.
Needless to say, the employee benefits space is changing. Benefits brokers and agents are working hard to keep up. Among their new offerings are products aimed at the senior demographic. It is a demographic with plenty of potential for new business over the next 5 to 10 years.