Helping employees start the year off on the right foot

Ideas about ways to solve potential productivity killers

Talking about the right voluntary benefits at the right time may protect a client's workers against the bumps on the track.  (Photo: Thinkstock) Talking about the right voluntary benefits at the right time may protect a client's workers against the bumps on the track. (Photo: Thinkstock)

With the holidays behind us, many employees have started the new year with the hopes of improving and taking control of their health.

Goals like losing weight, sticking with a gym routine or taking more personal days to relax from the hectic work week are all great to have. However, there are some health-related concerns employees can’t control, such as unexpected accidents or illnesses.

Related: Health costs push, and pull, supplemental policy sales

When it comes to unanticipated obstacles employees face, they don’t need to feel alone. There are benefits options that employers can offer to help equip and prepare employees for the financial setback that can accompany health-related problems.

Some employees may have enrolled in these plans previously and forgotten they have them.

Others may identify needs they have for coverage over the course of the year based on experiences – and expenses – they encounter. 

Here are three voluntary insurance policies you can talk to clients about that can help give their employees peace of mind for a healthy new year.

The only thing worse than having a serious illness is having the illness, and being too broke to eat out. (Photo: Yinan Chen/WC)

Imagine struggling with a life-threatening illness — and being too broke to avoid having to cook.... (Photo: Yinan Chen/WC)

1. Critical illness

No one is immune to life-altering illnesses, so it’s always the right time to talk about the importance of critical illness coverage. When a diagnosis occurs, a voluntary critical illness plan can provide significantly more financial protection than a major medical plan alone.

Critical illness benefits range from $5,000 to $50,000 and are paid directly to the employee (unless otherwise assigned).

When clients add critical illness insurance to employees’ benefits packages, it offers employees additional protection to help ensure that if they’re diagnosed with a critical illness, they can focus on recovering instead of their finances.

Related: 7 ways to win the hearts of critical illness insurers

One unexpected, underinsured hospital visit could lead to months, or years, of financial worries, lengthy phone calls, and in-person visits to billing offices. (Photo: Thinkstock)

A single underinsured hospital stay could lead to an endless series of time-consuming phone calls and in-person billing office visits. (Photo: Thinkstock)

2. Hospital indemnity

Hospital inpatient care accounts for almost one-third of U.S. health care costs. 

As health care costs continue to rise in the form of deductibles, copayments and out-of-pocket maximums, having additional protection in the event of an overnight stay at a hospital would be helpful for most employees.

Hospital insurance can pay cash benefits for covered hospital stays, with optional benefits for diagnostic procedures, surgery, ambulance transportation and more.

Related: Large-group broker sees more interest in health stop-loss

Even something as simple and common as a broken leg could break some workers' finances. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Even something as simple and common as a broken leg could break some workers' finances. (Photo: Thinkstock)

3. Accident

In the United States, about 1 out of 8 people seek medical attention for an injury.

Accident insurance helps employees to stay ahead of out-of-pocket expenses that can accrue after an injury, including emergency room treatment, ground or air ambulance, X-rays, physical therapy and follow-up treatments.

Accident insurance helps cover expenses associated not only with the accident itself, but also daily living expenses that might be needed during the recovery process such as transportation, groceries and day care.

Voluntary benefits options are fundamental, so choosing the right options requires employees to take an honest look at their health while considering the possibility of the unforeseen — for themselves and their family.

Your clients are looking to you for solutions their employees can use to help ensure they have a healthy and happy new year. Showing your clients how a range of voluntary benefits options, including critical illness, hospital and accident plans, is important for helping their employees stay financially fit all year long. 

Related:

10 health insurance ideas that could bloom in 2017

7 consumer coverage gaps you could fill today

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