A whirlwind of changes to the way health insurance in the U.S. is purchased and delivered has more Americans focused on cost and coverage than ever before. Suddenly, major medical insurance isn’t just a nice-to-have: It’s a must, much like auto and homeowners insurance are a must for those of us who drive cars or own homes. Current mandated insurance coverages may leave your employees vulnerable to medical expenses they’re ill-equipped to pay. Voluntary insurance coverage can help fill that gap.
What is voluntary insurance? It coincides with major medical plans to help ensure sick or injured individuals have the funds needed to pay health-related costs their primary insurance might not cover, as well as other out-of-pocket costs. After all, when a medical event occurs, there are deductibles, copayments, and treatment costs that aren’t covered to consider, along with bills that continue to roll in even if an individual is too ill to work.
According to a 2014 AFLAC WorkForces Report, 49 percent of today’s workers have less than $1,000.00 on hand to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses and 66 percent would not be able to adjust to the financial costs associated with serious injury or illness. Perhaps that’s why 52 percent of workers who don’t currently have access to voluntary benefits through their companies say they’d probably apply for coverage if their employers made it available.
With that in mind, here are several reasons employers should seriously consider offering voluntary options:
- Voluntary policies help employers attract and retain employees. Employees who are offered voluntary insurance products are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, have more positive perceptions of their employers, and are more likely to be satisfied with their benefits packages.
- Voluntary insurance helps employees build financial safety nets. Financial confidence can help employees keep their minds on their jobs and not on money concerns.
- Voluntary insurance pays cash benefits regardless of any other insurance coverage. Workers can use their benefits to help pay unexpected health care costs that might not be covered by major medical insurance to help pay bills that threaten their financial security.
- Companies offering voluntary accident and disability insurance report reductions in workers’ compensation claims and absenteeism. A study conducted in July 2014 by Research Now and AFLAC, revealed that 40 percent of all companies providing access to voluntary accident insurance experienced declines in their workers’ compensation claims.