How your company and your workers benefit from supplementary insurance

As health care costs continue to rise, employers have begun to shift the burden of health care costs onto their employees. Some have even cut employer-paid benefits. Health care law requires most people to obtain and most employers to offer major health coverage with certain essential benefits. Still, what workers pay out-of-pocket through these plans continues to rise as employers try to control their own costs.

A 2015 report revealed how employers are still looking for ways to cut expenses by pushing costs onto workers in the form of higher deductibles, premiums and copays. By offering supplemental or voluntary insurance to employees, this can provide financial protection in the event of an accident or serious illness. Three reasons supplemental insurance is essential for employees are:

Increases in healthcare costs are outpacing increases

According to one report, 31 percent of employers increased the employee portion of the premium, 30 percent increased employee copays, and 21 percent implemented high-deductible health plans. Those are big expenses that hit employees’ wallets, but the wage increases don’t stick. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that deductibles have risen six times faster than workers’ earnings since 2010.

Out-of-pocket limits are high, even for the highest-paid employees

Average out-of-pocket spending is about $7,000 for individuals and $14,000 for families, and that’s just for covered essential health benefits. However, a staggering 52 percent of employees have less than $1,000 to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with a serious and unexpected illness or accident, and 28 percent have less than $500.

Workers tend to choose price over quality, which can mean less coverage than they think

With costs rising, it’s tempting to choose health insurance based on monthly price. In fact, 30 percent of employees say the monthly premium is the most important factor when choosing a major health insurance plan each year. A lower-cost plan may mean savings in the short term, but could eventually add up to significantly higher out-of-pocket costs.

Employees need a financial safety net. Benefits received from supplemental insurance have long served as a way to help protect employees when they are sick or injured, regardless of their primary health insurance coverage. Some of these benefits include vision, dental, pet insurance, short-term disability, accident, critical illness, and hospital indemnity. Supplemental benefit recipients can use the money received from these products to help pay their daily living expenses, such as rent, mortgage payment, groceries, child care, and medical bills during the time the insured is unable to work.

When companies add voluntary products to their company benefits package, they can increase the level of employee satisfaction and help them feel more financially prepared to deal with potential life-changing events. On the other hand, employers can experience lower operating costs and save money in the process. The result is a win-win situation for both employer and employee.

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