These hidden gems can help fill your insurance gaps

Work Wisdom

These hidden gems can help fill your insurance gaps

There are many great options for medical insurance, but even the best coverage can leave us exposed to unexpected — and significant — health care expenses. The COVID-19 pandemic and the unexpected impact it’s had on thousands of families is a great example.

That’s where voluntary benefits come into the equation: to create a stronger financial safety net for you and your family.

Voluntary benefits let you customize your coverage to meet your unique needs. Premiums are automatically deducted from your paycheck, just like your medical insurance. You can buy coverage for just yourself or include your spouse and children.

“These benefits are paid directly to you and can cover expenses your health insurance won’t, such as co-pays, deductibles or whatever you choose,” said Katy Whittle, an employee benefits product manager.

Voluntary benefits you can choose from

Accident insurance

If you and your family are active, mishaps like cuts, breaks and burns can happen unexpectedly. Been to the emergency room lately? It can cost as much as a monthly mortgage payment — and your health insurance won’t cover it all. Accident insurance helps you pay out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays or co-insurance, deductibles and other fees. It also covers nonmedical expenses, such as childcare, or transportation if you can’t drive.

Life insurance

No matter what stage of life you’re in — married or single, with or without kids at home, newbie or close to retirement — you may need more life insurance. It can help pay for:

  • mortgage, auto loans or other debts
  • final expenses and medical bills
  • ongoing family and household expenses
  • college costs for surviving children

Life insurance comes in two different options: term life and whole life. Term life insurance can help your loved ones with financial needs after your death during the specified period of your coverage, usually during your working years. Whole life coverage continues over the course of your life as long as you keep paying the premiums and can build cash value.

Critical illness and cancer insurance

How to pay for treatment is the last thing you should have to think about when facing a serious diagnosis, but many families end up with a mountain of medical debt that can have a long-term impact on their financial security.

  • Critical illness insurance pays a lump sum amount if you’re diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke, coma, organ failure or other covered illness.
  • Cancer insurance pays benefits for treatments and services such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, private nursing, home health care, prostheses, appliances and medical equipment, plus a lump sum benefit upon first diagnosis.

Hospital insurance

The average hospital stay costs more than $10,000. Even with health insurance, you’ll still have to pay deductibles or coinsurance — and those costs can be significant. When you or a covered family member is admitted to the hospital, this coverage can pay immediate medical costs, prescriptions, travel expenses, childcare or help pay the bills at home.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits being offered during your company’s annual enrollment, check out this recently published annual enrollment guide from Unum Group.