If there’s anything the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it’s that our employee benefits are more important than ever. In fact, choosing your benefits is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make this year.
“The pandemic has changed our lives, and it’s not a surprise more people are thinking about how they are protecting their families,” said Chris Pyne, executive vice president of Group Benefits at Unum Group.
Here are 4 insurance benefits you need to have amid COVID-19:
1.Health insurance is the most highly valued and most commonly offered employee insurance benefit. It’s designed to pay some or all your medical costs for covered illnesses, injuries and conditions. This includes most doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, wellness care, and surgical procedures.
While there’s no replacement for it in the workplace, even the best health insurance won’t cover all of your out-of-pocket costs—especially with today’s high-deductible health plans. Take advantage of your company’s health insurance offering, but supplement it with the right mix of insurance benefits so you’re covered for life’s common—and unexpected—health events.
2. Life insurance is financial protection for your family should anything happen to you. It can help your loved ones pay day-to-day living expenses, debts, medical bills, and funeral costs, in addition to future needs such as college tuition or retirement. Even if your employer provides a base level of life insurance, it may not be enough for your family’s long-term needs.
3. Disability insurance is designed to pay a portion of your income if you’re sick or injured and unable to work. Something as simple as a back injury, maternity leave, or unexpected illness could mean time off work without pay, and when that happens you don’t want to worry about how to pay the bills. Unfortunately, the likelihood of experiencing an unexpected illness is a greater reality than ever before.
4. Supplemental health insurance allows you to customize your benefits package with the types of coverage most important to you and your family. These benefits help bridge the financial gap between what your health insurance will cover and your out-of-pocket costs.
- Hospital insurance helps you pay the costs of hospital stays, and on some plans, outpatient surgery and diagnostic procedures. It helps you cover expenses when you’re admitted to the hospital so you can focus on your recovery—and not your finances. Even if you have medical insurance, a trip to the hospital can mean significant unexpected expenses that can set you back financially. The average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is $30,000. That’s no small amount.
- Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum financial benefit when you’re diagnosed with a wide range of serious conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, organ failure, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and more. A serious illness often means unexpected costs that aren’t covered by your health insurance, and the cost of missing work can add up fast. The unknown consequences of today’s pandemic—and the possibility of other new diseases—makes it more important than ever to plan for the unexpected.
It’s hard to think of anything being “normal” these days, but if there’s anything we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s the importance of protecting our physical, emotional, and financial health – exactly what your workplace benefits can help you do.