Whether you are an active weekend warrior or you enjoy relaxed weekends, accidents can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and without warning.
Emergency rooms logged nearly 38 million injury-related visits last year, or one for every eight Americans. The most prevalent accidents were falls (20% of visits) and motor vehicle accidents (10% of all visits). About 540,000 bicyclists visited the emergency room with biking-related injuries last year. More than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms annually as a result of playground injuries.
The unexpected bills that follow a sudden accident may leave you with even more expenses. If you have an accident that requires medical attention, your first thought shouldn't have to be, "How am I going to pay for this?" or worse, "How will I pay my bills if I can't work?" Remember, it's not the accident, but the effects of the accident that can hurt, both physically and financially. This is especially true today when you have to cover a higher portion of your own health care costs through higher deductibles and co-pays. A serious accident isn’t just a significant medical event, it can also be a significant financial event. According to costhelper.com, the average cost to treat a broken leg, including X-rays, setting the bone, and putting the leg in a cast, exceeds $10,000. Individuals hurt in accidents also can incur other expenses that are not directly related to medical care, such as the cost of traveling to appointments, making accommodations in the home, and housekeeping.
Your employer may offer your best option to help solve this problem. Increasingly, one of the plans that employers are choosing to offer as part of their benefit program is a Voluntary Accident Insurance plan, which pays a cash benefit for accidents, injuries, ambulance services, and other services in addition to what your primary medical insurance pays. It’s first-dollar coverage, so there are no copayments and no deductibles. Benefits are paid directly to you, and you can use the benefit payment to pay copayments or deductibles for primary coverage, to cover other non-medical costs like transportation, or help at home. Best of all, these policies are generally guaranteed issue, so there are no health questions to answer.
A Voluntary Accident Insurance policy can be a great supplement to your group health plan. If you have it available to you when you sign up for benefits this fall, be sure to give it consideration!