For a growing number of employers, voluntary accident insurance plans may play a part in rounding out employee benefit packages to help employees pay for unexpected out of pocket expenses. The truth is that accidents happen to anyone—and in reality, they do happen. In fact, more than 80 million people in the United States seek medical treatment for injuries each year.
WHAT IS ACCIDENT INSURANCE?
Disability and major medical insurance may not fully cover employees’ unexpected medical expenses. Furthermore, the health insurance market has been shifting more responsibility to individuals through higher out-of-pocket costs. At the very least, employees will likely still owe a deductible and copays—and accident insurance is designed to help ease the financial burden by providing lump sum payments paid directly to the employee.
In many cases, group or personal accident insurance pays a cash benefits to employees for various qualifying incidents, including the following:
- Inpatient expenses incurred at a hospital that are applied to the deductible, copayment or coinsurance for the plan
- Outpatient expenses applied the same way as inpatient benefits. These charges are incurred at the outpatient center of a hospital, ambulatory surgical center, day surgery facility, MRI facility or emergency room.
- Sickness inpatient expenses due to illness resulting from an accident
- Complete dislocations of the hip, knee, shoulder, foot, ankle, hand, lower jaw, wrist, elbow, finger and toe
- Complete fractures of the hip, thigh, vertebrae, vertebral process, pelvis, skull (simple and depressed), leg, forearm, hand, wrist, foot, ankle, kneecap, shoulder blade, collarbone, lower jaw, upper arm, upper jaw, facial bones (except teeth), coccyx, rib, finger and toe
- Injuries requiring surgery to eyes, tendons, ligaments, ruptured discs and torn knee cartilage
- Burns (generally second-degree burns of at least 25% of the body or third-degree burns covering at least several inches of the body)
- Lacerations of varying lengths
- Air ambulance, normal ambulatory service, and blood or plasma services
- Hospital admissions and confinement
- Medical fees, including X-rays, office visits and emergency room treatment
- Accidental death and dismemberment
All of these services are covered at varying degrees and up to differing dollar amounts depending on the type of plan selected. However, a accident insurance policies will likely not cover an incident or injury under the following circumstances:
- Acts of war—declared or undeclared—or active military duty
- Natural disasters
- Nonprescription use of controlled substances or consumption of alcohol
- Participation in illegal activities
WHY OFFER ACCIDENT INSURANCE?
Accident insurance can help employers meet the needs of their workforce. This supplemental insurance appeals to a multigenerational workforce as an important supplement to employees’ health plans. An increasing number of employees are interested in voluntary benefits, and, as a result, this pressure has raised expectations for employers’ offerings.
Holistic Protection for Employees
By offering accident insurance as a voluntary benefit, employers can help financially protect employees in case of an accidental injury. In addition to paying for medical services, payments from accident insurance can pay for out of pocket expenses and daily living expenses, and cover lost income from unpaid time off.
This benefit allows employees leverage to save some money when accidents occur. That is a perk that employees will use and value when the unexpected happens to them or their family. Employers are in a position to help offer a financial safety net for employees. Providing accident insurance can help ease employees’ financial stress, which results in employees being less worried and, overall, more satisfied.
Accident insurance often is not subject to the same legal and regulatory issues associated with other plans, which leads to easier implementation and upkeep. There are typically no fees or costs to employers to offer accident insurance plans to employees. Additionally, accident insurance is a good way to offer benefits that meet employees’ evolving needs, while reducing the impact to their bottom line.
In general, employee benefits are designed to provide perks and support to employees. If benefits are supporting employees, that’s a win. A good offering can be a way for employers to differentiate themselves from competitors in today’s talent market and support employees during challenging times.
If your group is looking to add a supplemental accident insurance policy or any others to your employee benefits package, contact us today to speak to a consultant. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more benefit education and industry updates.