According to a recent survey from Aflac, 31% of employers have increased their employees’ share of health insurance premiums this year, 30% have increased employees’ copayments, and 21% have implemented high-deductible health plans with Health Savings Accounts.
Deductibles employees must pay have risen six times faster than their earnings since 2010, and co-pays and out-of-pocket limits have also been increased significantly. The survey also showed that 78% of employees making under $50,000 annually currently have less than $1,000 set aside in an emergency fund to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected illness or accident. Even those making more are not immune, as 20% of employees making $100,000 or more also have less than $1,000 set aside. It’s not surprising that your employees may be struggling with health care costs.
One way to help them fill these insurance gaps is to install a Voluntary Products program, including Voluntary Term, Voluntary Accident, and Voluntary Disability, as part of your benefits package. A Voluntary Accident policy pays cash benefits to directly to the employee to help cover those bills from a covered accident that their medical insurance doesn’t cover because of high deductibles. A Voluntary Disability policy pays up to 60% of an employee’s salary if he becomes sick or injured off the job, so that employee won’t be tempted to claim his injury happened at work (which saves on your Workers Compensation insurance). A Voluntary Term policy supplements the group life insurance your employees already have with term life coverage up to five times their income in order to better protect their families if they die prematurely. These plans are quite affordable, too, generally costing the employee about an hour’s pay per week or less, and there’s little or no underwriting involved. Premiums are handled through payroll deduction, so it’s easy and seamless, and employees can elect the amount and types of coverage they want, creating their own financial safety net for unexpected medical expenses. And it’s all done without additional cost to you.
What’s really exciting is that employees want these products! According to a recent MetLife study, 68% of employees say that voluntary products are important for helping manage their health care costs. By adding Voluntary Products to your employee benefits package this year, you can help keep your benefit costs in line and you can help your employees get the protection they need at a price they can afford. Talk to your professional insurance agent today to find out more on how these programs can work for you and for your employees.