With the emergence of COVID-19, more companies are adding voluntary benefits, specifically critical illness coverage. But even prior to the pandemic, benefits options were steadily expanding.
This year alone, 45 percent of employers are enhancing offerings — and 58 percent are adding critical illness coverage to help employees cope with the financial effects of long-term illness.1 Other research indicates 70 percent of working Americans plan to take a closer look at their employer’s voluntary benefits options in 2020, with half planning to choose different elections than prior years.2
Voluntary critical illness benefits were designed to protect families from the high cost of hospitalization and care related to cancer or a stroke, for instance. However, most critical illness plans weren’t originally designed to cover infectious diseases. COVID-19 is compelling companies to include infectious disease coverage now — and in the future.3
Companies also view voluntary benefits as a way to help employees with additional illness-related expenses, especially those enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHP). Supplemental health benefits, combined with major medical insurance, can work together to ease the financial burden for employees when the unexpected happens. And with more companies adopting HDHPs to share a larger proportion of coverage costs with employees, this is a trend that will likely continue.
Voluntary benefits increase health plan value
Besides critical illness insurance, other health-related voluntary benefits include hospital indemnity. Offering additional coverage options like this allows employers to create a more well-rounded benefits package. Plus, hospital indemnity benefits can minimize the impact of an employee’s out-of-pocket costs related to an unexpected hospital stay — and help reduce the financial burden of an HDHP.3
Undoubtedly, ongoing and regular benefits communication is key to a successful benefits program. By engaging employees throughout the year, not just during open enrollment, they’re equipped with the knowledge to effectively use their benefit options, protect their own pocketbook and ensure their best care.3
Open enrollment: perfect time to close gaps
Open enrollment is an ideal opportunity for employees to close any coverage gaps through their employer’s voluntary benefit options. And for those seeking financial protections from COVID-19, it’s a perfect time to add critical illness coverage.
By offering generous voluntary benefits, companies can put more power in their employees’ hands to improve how they manage their own health and well-being. Which also ultimately benefits a company’s bottom line.
For more insight into how Securian Financial can help companies offer affordable and effective benefits, let’s talk. Contact us.