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Accident Insurance: A Supplemental Health Benefit Option

As employers look to enhance their benefits packages, a subtle add-on to their health offerings could go a long way.

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Accident insurance is an underutilized voluntary benefit that could be attractive to an employee who has an active family, said Michael Estep, vice president of group products and worksite leader at Guardian Life Insurance. And, according to Guardian’s research, less than half (45%) of employers offer some form of accident insurance in their voluntary benefits package.

 “I think if you’re an employer/HR manager and you want to attract [and retain] key employees, offering a comprehensive voluntary portfolio including accident insurance is one way to go about it,” Estep said.

Nearly six in 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 or $1,000 unplanned expense, according to research from Bankrate. Couple that with the prevalence of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) in the marketplace, most of which have a minimum family deductible of $2,700, it makes for a dicey financial situation.

Guardian’s “6th Annual Workplace Benefits Study” found that 44% of working Americans enrolled in HDHPs said they have avoided receiving medical care in the past year because of their high deductibles.

“There’s not enough disposable income to fund those unexpected health-care costs,” Estep said.

Accident insurance can help families offset the expense of injuries requiring treatment that they might normally have to cover out-of-pocket to meet their plan’s deductible. Estep said accident insurance pays employees directly for common injuries and associated medical treatments and services, including ambulance, emergency room treatment, X-rays, hospitalization, surgery, chiropractic visits and more.

“We definitely see accident insurance for working families who might have kids in organized sports, because we find that kids are at a greater risk of accidents when they play in sports,” Estep said. “We want to make sure we develop benefits that include features that can cover an entire family and help with unexpected costs.” 

About the Author

Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork

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