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October 23, 2017

Survey: Nearly half of parents have had a child experience a major injury and 7 in 10 paid up to $2,000 out of pocket for medical expenses

With open enrollment season here, many workers are unaware or confused about the benefits of accident, hospital indemnity and critical illness insurance

ST. PAUL, Minnesota--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As uncertainty over the future of health care continues, 63 percent of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance surveyed by Securian Financial Group say they are very or somewhat concerned this open enrollment season about their plans’ out-of-pocket medical costs increasing in the next year.

Among Millennials — many who are parents — 32 percent with health insurance deductibles report paying an out-of-pocket expense for an injury over the past year, and more than half (52 percent) are personally experiencing or know someone who is experiencing financial difficulty due to medical bills.

As a provider of supplemental group insurance products offered as employee benefits, Securian makes available a range of products aimed at protecting group-insured workers and their family members from unexpected out-of-pocket medical costs. These products include group accident insurance, critical illness insurance and hospital indemnity insurance.

Securian’s research finds nearly half (44 percent) of parents with employer-sponsored health insurance have had a child experience a significant injury, with the most common incident involving an emergency room visit (23 percent). Other child injuries most cited include broken bones (16 percent) and lacerations resulting in stitches (11 percent).

“Play-related and sports injuries are common in active families with children and can mean an emergency trip to a doctor and unplanned medical costs,” says Elias Vogen, director of group insurance client relationships for Securian. “Among parents who have had a child experience a major injury, 71 percent paid up to $2,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs as a result of the injury, and about one in ten paid more than $5,000.”

More education on solutions needed

Even though solutions like supplemental group insurance are increasingly available through employers to help protect workers and their families from unexpected medical bills, many employees remain unaware or unclear about what they involve.

Fewer than half of workers (47 percent) know ambulance costs associated with an injury or costs from a child breaking a bone while playing sports may be covered under a group accident insurance policy.

Additional misperceptions about accident insurance include:

  • 14 percent believe house repairs after a fire are covered
  • 21 percent assume vehicle damage from an accident is covered
  • 22 percent say they have no idea what accident insurance covers

“While more employers are offering group accident insurance, there’s a need for more employee education to clarify what’s covered,” Vogen says. “If you or a covered family member are injured, accident insurance can provide peace of mind by helping to pay for medical bills and other unforeseen expenses like house cleaning, yard work, a meal service or child care. There are no limitations on how the benefit payout funds can be used.”

According to Securian’s research, employees who are aware of supplemental group insurance benefits and have access to them through work opt in at high rates — 64 percent for accident insurance, 59 percent for hospital indemnity insurance and 47 percent for critical illness insurance.

Mixed emotions about open enrollment

With rising medical costs top of mind and nearly half of workers (47 percent) expressing concern their employer will not offer enough benefit options, workers’ attitudes toward open enrollment season fall largely into two camps: indifferent (30 percent) or thoughtful (29 percent).

“Many employees, especially older workers, make the mistake of brushing off open enrollment because they think it’s the same old, same old,” Vogen says. “Employees should instead take this time to learn about new benefit options and to maximize opportunities that prepare themselves and their families for health and financial well-being in the year ahead.”

Research methodology

Securian conducted two online surveys through KRC Research between June and September 2017. The most recent survey was conducted September 14-17, 2017. A total of 1,009 survey respondents answered an initial screener question on the source of their health insurance. The rest of the survey was answered by a base of 566 respondents who participate in a health insurance plan provided by their employers or their spouses’ employers.

The first survey was conducted June 8-12, 2017. A total of 1,010 survey respondents answered an initial screener question on the source of their health insurance. The rest of the survey was answered by a base of 573 respondents who participate in a health insurance plan provided by their employers or their spouses’ employers.

Both samples were weighted by demographics such as age, gender, race, region and income to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the national population age 18 and older.

About Securian Financial Group

Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, Securian is the holding company parent of a group of companies that offer a broad range of financial services.


Group Critical Illness Insurance, Group Accident Insurance and Group Hospital Indemnity Insurance policies provide limited benefits. These policies have exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits, terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued.

Group Critical Illness Insurance is underwritten by Minnesota Life Insurance Company or Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer. Group Accident Insurance and Group Hospital Indemnity Insurance are underwritten by Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer. Both companies are affiliates of Securian Financial Group, Inc. and are headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies or contracts it issues.

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Jeff Bakken

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