October is Open Enrollment for insurance for most companies in the United States. Which means it’s the time of year when workers can review their employer-sponsored benefits offerings and choose the health insurance policies that best meet their financial and health care needs. Although selecting the right health care benefits may be one of the most important decisions Americans will make all year, an Aflac survey found that many workers do very little research to learn which plans and products really work best for them. In fact, 34 percent of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options in 2014. Those who don’t set aside time to research their insurance options often end up with inadequate health care protection for themselves and their families. So it’s in your best interest for you and your family to research the policies available to you and make changes if needed.
Different generations have different health care needs that reflect their life stages
Today’s workforce is comprised of a number of different generations, including baby boomers, Generation X, millennials/Generation Y and the incoming generation of workers known as Generation Z. Many of today’s families are also spanning more generations than in the past, which means one-size-fits-all benefits options aren’t enough anymore. For instance, the type of benefits options a young, single employee needs are significantly different than those for an employee who is supporting multiple dependents or facing more health issues due to advanced age. That’s where voluntary insurance helps, since it allows employees to select voluntary policies that best suit their own needs, as well as the needs of any dependents they may have.
Consider voluntary insurance policies offered by your employer
When an unforeseen medical event occurs, many people are often faced with paying copayments, deductibles or treatment costs not covered by major medical insurance, as well as other daily living expenses – all while paying increasing health insurance premiums. According to a recent Aflac survey, 66 percent of workers would not be able to adjust to the large financial costs associated with a serious injury or illness, and 49 percent have less than $1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. Voluntary policies, which complement major medical coverage, are specifically designed to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses that can be associated with an unexpected illness or injury. In addition, the cash benefits can be used to help pay rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses that continue to roll in even if someone is too sick or injured to work.
Six voluntary insurance policies your employer may offer that is worth looking into depending on your needs:
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical illness protection helps you stay ahead of the medical and out-of-pocket expenses that result from certain medical issues, such as a stroke or heart attack. Accident Insurance
Accident insurance helps provide everyday financial protection in the event of a covered accident.
Having a cancer insurance policy in place can help protect you from the sometimes overwhelming costs associated with being diagnosed with cancer.
Hospital Indemnity Insurance
Hospital insurance pays cash for covered hospital stays, with optional benefits for diagnostic procedures, surgery, ambulance transport and more.
Short-Term Disability insurance pays a percentage of your income if you are unable to work due to a covered illness or injury.
For those who are young and single, life insurance can be used to cover funeral/burial expenses, pay off creditor debt or provide parents with funds for retirement.
Be prepared for whatever life throws your way with voluntary insurance policies that can make a huge difference when unexpected circumstances pop up in your life.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.