The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on the veterinary profession – from temporary shutdowns to a flood of new patients spurred by quarantine-inspired adoptions to safety-driven curbside service delivery methods. Underscoring it all has been a sense of uncertainty within the profession, which has placed a spotlight on the need for certain types of insurance. More than ever before, practice owners – and their team members – are recognizing the value of voluntary employee benefits programs that can provide financial protection for unexpected life events.
What has failed to reach the spotlight, however, are the value-added services that often are included in employee benefits programs. These services can deliver an extra – and much-needed – measure of support when team members and their families need it most. Some of these services might include:
- An Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs provide confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees with personal and/or work-related problems.
- Accelerated benefits. This cash advance (based on a portion of an employee’s Life insurance death benefit) is paid to employees diagnosed with a terminal illness and can be used to pay off student loans, help save for a child’s education, pay medical bills not covered by health insurance, and even take one last dream vacation.
- Will and funeral preparation services. Why wait for the worst to happen? This service is available to help employees be proactive and work through key decisions before a crisis occurs with professional advocates, including licensed attorneys.
- Beneficiary counseling services. Once the worst has happened, this service is available to help bereaved family members cope with emotional, financial, and legal issues.
Reaping the Benefits of an Employee Benefits Program
The fundamental purpose of insurance is to provide peace of mind and protect a family’s financial future. By offering an employee group benefits program that includes value-added services, practice owners can foster a sense of security among team members that may translate to a more stable, productive work environment. As an additional bonus to practice owner, such programs also can support their efforts to attract and retain the most qualified team members.
But what can practice owners do to maximize the benefits of these programs to their team members and ultimately the practice itself? The answer is simple: communicate. Practice owners play a key role in communicating with their team members – and potential team members – about the benefits and value-added services available to them. Fortunately, most program providers offer a library of resources and content that practice owners can distribute, including brochures, blogs, articles, and FAQs. They also might work with plan providers to host interactive online classes such as webinars to give employees a clear understanding of the support and services they may need in the future.
To ensure veterinary practices have an affordable option for providing team members with valuable group benefits, the AVMA Trust has partnered with The Hartford to create the AVMA Trust Employee Benefits Program. Designed with veterinary practices in mind, the program provides group Life insurance, and Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance, Short- and Long-term Disability insurance, as well as a number of value-added services under The Hartford Life EssentialsSM*, including:
- An Employee Assistance Program
- Funeral Planning and Concierge Services
- Estate Guidance®
- Beneficiary Assistance®
- Travel Assistance and Identity Theft Protection Service
To learn more about the AVMA Trust Employee Benefits Program offered through The Hartford or to schedule a private consultation, request to speak with one of our plan specialists.
More to discover
In addition to the AVMA Trust Employee Benefits Program, the AVMA Trust offers other group plans to help practice owners protect and support their employees:
· Association Health Plan. Healthy employees are happy employees. Finally, veterinary practices of all sizes have access to an affordable group health plan for their teams. Plans are available in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
· Association Retirement Plan. The AVMA Trust is sponsoring a retirement plan designed specifically for veterinarians and veterinary practices. Available exclusively to AVMA members and their employees, the AVMA Trust Retirement Plan** offers a offers an array of benefits for practice owners, including a customizable plan design, enrollment resources, investment education and planning tools, and more more.
Want to see everything the AVMA Trust has to offer?
The Hartford® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including underwriting company Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company. Home office is Hartford, CT. All benefits are subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. Policies underwritten by the underwriting company listed above detail exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits, and terms under which the policies may be continued in force or discontinued.
Life Form Series includes GBD-1000, GBD-1100 or state equivalent. Accident Form Series includes GBD-1000, GBD-1300, or state equivalent. Disability Form Series includes GBD-1000, GBD-1200 or state equivalent.
*Services are offered through vendors that are not affiliated with The Hartford and these services are not insurance. The Hartford is not responsible and assumes no liability for the goods and services described in this material and reserves the right to discontinue any of these services at any time. Services may vary and may not be available in all states. Visit https://www.thehartford.com/employee-benefits/value-added-services for more information.
** Before adopting any plan, sponsors should carefully consider all the benefits, risks, and costs associated with a plan. Information regarding retirement plans is general and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Retirement plans are complex, and the federal and state laws or regulations on which they are based vary for each type of plan and are subject to change. In addition, some products, investment vehicles, and services may not be available or appropriate in all workplace retirement plans. Plan sponsors and plan administrators may wish to seek the advice of legal counsel or a tax professional to address their specific situations.