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Why Small Businesses Should Offer Ancillary Benefits to Their Employees

Posted November 11, 2021 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

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The benefits of a healthy workforce are numerous. From increased productivity to reduced absenteeism and turnover, research shows routine, preventive care can lower a person’s medical costs in the long run. Preventive care and regular screenings for diagnoses like cancer, hypertension and heart disease are often covered under a company’s health insurance plan. But what about dental care and vision? They also require routine treatment and maintenance and in most cases are not a covered benefit. That’s why it’s important to offer your employees opportunities to customize their benefits with ancillary options that are important to them.

What are ancillary services?

Ancillary services are supplemental to a company’s group health insurance plan. They include services for dental, vision, orthodontia and life insurance. SummaCare has partnered with Guardian Life Insurance Company to offer ancillary products to groups enrolled with a Chamber Health Benefits medical plan.

Purchasing these benefits at a group level helps keep premiums reasonably priced. There are also pre-tax benefits (lower FICA contributions) for employers who take advantage of Section 125 of the IRS code. Costs can either be split between the employer and employee or covered wholly by one or the other. Utilizing consumer-directed Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) offer employees more control over their health care costs as well as tax savings on money allocated for medical expenses.

What ancillary plans are offered?


  • Four plans: Two with orthodontic options and one with orthodontia built into the rates.


  • Two plans with two network options with contributory and voluntary rates.

    Life Insurance:

  • Four life and accidental death and dismemberment benefit options are available to employees only (no spouse or dependent coverage).

Plans are à la carte and may be purchased in any combination among the three categories. Employers may select one benefit plan each from the three benefit categories.

Value-Added Benefits

Complimentary value-added services, like the College Tuition Benefit and Dental Maximum Rollover, are provided to groups who enroll in Guardian ancillary products at no additional cost.

Preventive care can help avoid costs of serious dental issues. Dental Maximum Rollover rewards members for taking care of their oral health with funds that roll over to use as needed in the future.

With the cost of college continuing to rise, Guardian helps families keep up by providing the College Tuition Benefit program that can be used at more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide. By enrolling in a Guardian plan, participants can earn 2,000 Tuition Rewards® annually for each type of Guardian insurance they carry. Participants of Guardian Dental receive an additional bonus after four years. Rewards can be given to children, stepchildren, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. When registered by a participant, they’ll receive an additional 500 rewards each. Rewards increase each year and participants keep them forever.

For employer groups purchasing a suite of dental, vision and life, Guardian provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides employees and their families counseling for stress management, dependent/elder care, nutrition, fitness and legal/financial issues among others.

Who Administers the Plan?

Administration of the plan is handled directly by Guardian for groups and members. Guardian will provide benefit booklets (including plan information and I.D. cards) as well as customer support for all groups and members.

For questions about the Chamber Health Benefits Plan including Guardian ancillary services, email SummaCare broker services at