Study: Less than half of US workers know about employers' supplemental insurance
- A new survey from Securian Financial Group, a provider of supplemental group insurance products, shows that 44% of U.S. workers don't know that many employers offer supplemental group insurance to help them pay for out-of-pocket expenses and other medical costs, such hospitalization, a serious illness or an accidental injury.
- The survey also revealed that four in 10 workers with employer-sponsored health coverage are struggling financially to pay their medical bills, or know someone who's struggling. This is the case for 52% of millennials polled.
- Elias Vogen, a director with Securian, noted that employees that are aware of such benefits tend to opt into them at a "high rate" — 64% for accident insurance, 59% for hospital indemnity insurance and 47% for critical illness insurance.
Employees should know about every benefit option that's available to them. A review of benefits in onboarding sessions might not be enough; employees aren't likely to focus on benefits until they need them for a medical procedure or hospitalization. A Guardian study found that although 80% of employees polled said they understood their benefits very well, only 49% actually did.
Open enrollment is a good time to communicate benefit options to employees, but it shouldn't be the only time. Aided by technology, HR can keep employees up to date on current, new or changing benefits year-round.
Supplemental group insurance is categorized as a “voluntary benefit,” because employees usually pay 100% of the premiums, but at a discounted group rate. Still, a Metlife study found that when employers offer more voluntary benefits, employees are happier and more loyal.