Where, when and how you work may have changed. However, the importance of your employee benefits hasn’t. The benefits you choose during your company’s annual enrollment is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make.
If your company is like most, it’s concerned about offering benefits to protect you and your family physically, emotionally and financially.
Before it’s time to enroll, it’s important to understand your needs and the different types of coverage available to meet them, especially employee-paid coverage that supplements what your employer may already provide. Supplemental benefits are additional coverage beyond your health insurance you can choose and usually pay for through payroll deduction.
Supplemental benefits allow you to customize your benefits package with the types of coverage most important to you and your family. Because you sign up for them at work, it’s usually more affordable than coverage you could buy on your own. It’s also easier to qualify for coverage as part of a workplace group, often without answering any health questions.
Consider these major types of supplemental benefits offered by providers like Unum and Colonial Life:
- Life insurance is financial protection for your family should anything happen to you. It can help your loved ones pay living expenses, debts, medical bills and funeral costs, in addition to future needs such as college tuition or retirement. Employer-provided life insurance may not be enough for your family’s long-term needs.
- Disability insurance is designed to pay a portion of your income if you’re sick or injured and unable to work.
- Dental insurance helps reduce out-of-pocket costs for most common dental procedures, like cleanings, fillings, crowns, dentures, oral surgery, orthodontia and other treatments.
- Vision insurance helps cover the costs of exams, glasses and contact lenses, and may include access to discounted materials and services through a network of vision service providers.
- Accident insurance offers a lump sum financial benefit that helps pay out-of-pocket expenses such as doctor bills, co-pays or emergency room fees if you have an accident or injury.
- Hospital insurance helps pay the costs of hospital stays and, on some plans, outpatient surgery and diagnostic procedures.
- Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum financial benefit when you’re diagnosed with a wide range of serious conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, organ failure, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and more.
- Cancer insurance provides more specific coverage for the often-overwhelming costs of treating cancer, from initial diagnosis through recovery. It can also help pay for a variety of treatments and services, such as ambulance transportation, hospital confinement, radiation and chemotherapy, medications and surgery.
Supplemental benefits can help bridge the financial gap between workplace medical insurance and your out-of-pocket costs. You can use your benefits for uncovered medical costs such as deductibles and copayments, or nonmedical expenses such as travel for treatment or child care during recovery. These benefits provide valuable coverage for many of life’s common but unexpected health events, such as accidents and illnesses.
Plus, you don’t have to be sick or injured to take advantage of supplemental coverage. Many plans include a wellness benefit that pays a set amount when you have a preventive screening or diagnostic test.
Story courtesy of Family Features
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