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Why Offer Supplemental Benefits?

April 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 127

Small business or large corporation a common struggle is surviving an economy riddled with inflation, downsizing, low consumer confidence and high unemployment. Healthcare Service costs are skyrocketing while government mandates increase the care requirements of Health Insurers. Economic Science tells us that There Is No Free Lunch!

As the health sector services continue to experience rising costs so too, do the Insurance Plans that pay for them.

Employers looking to maintain traditional benefits that they have used to help attract and keep employees are facing the laws of diminishing returns with these rising premiums. Raising Deductibles and increasing Co-Pays, Fixed Employer Contributions, Dual Option Plans, HSA and HRA are some of the choices now being used to help reign in spending costs.

With most of these planning strategies the end result is increased expenses, both in paying for the insurance and provider services (hospital, surgeries, Dr. visits, medications etc.) that fall on the employee.

Enter the world of Supplemental Benefits. The first company to offer these plans was Colonial Life and Accident Insurance, founded in 1939 and headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Colonial became the first company to provide benefits through worksite marketing.

Supplemental plans like those offered by Colonial Life have introduced new life into the Healthcare Market. These plans were not affected by Healthcare Reform Legislation. They offer a first dollar benefit payable to the insured and, because of rising out-of-pocket costs they become Insurance for what Health Insurance does not pay. Insurance for Insurance?

An Employee can choose from a menu of choices in plan selection. Among them are Accident, Disability and Cancer plans. These three choices tend to be the most popular but there are others such as Level Term Life, Long Term Care and Critical Illness to name just a few.

Plans are usually offered to the employee on a voluntary basis. Generally, they are presented at Group rates but issued individually, allowing the employee to keep the coverage if they terminate or retire. Costs of the plans are fixed, inexpensive and generally qualify for inclusion in Section 125 plans allowing for additional savings.

Disability should be the plan for most people to consider first. As people find it difficult making ends meet while working full time, the inability to work at all due to an injury or sickness can be financially devastating. Disability payments may be "Tax Free" to the payee as long as the premiums are not included in a tax leveraged, 125 plan or are employer paid. Look for waiver of premium, partial disability, payments for disability even if you are not actively employed and on the job coverage additional to workers compensationas essential components to the plan.

Accident plans could be said to be the best value of the coverages due to their low cost and potential benefit ratios. On or off the job and 24/7 coverage is essential. Spouse and family coverage is typically offered for a low extra cost.

Cancer plans work because one in two males and one in just less than three women in the U.S. will have a type of cancer in their lifetimes. 70% of cancer costs are incidental and not covered by medical insurance. Costs such as loss of work, travel to treatment and lodging for family members, childcare for a recovering parent, or home health care. Of course, medical plan deductibles and co-pays may also be covered.

While any of these plans are selected on a pick and choose, all or some or nothing basis, they are all capable of paying multi thousands of dollars to help offset medical bills and living costs. These low cost options should not be overlooked in a strategy to maintain a high quality Healthcare Benefits program.

Terryl G. Roemer has served Cities, Counties, Private Business and several thousand Individuals in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon for the past 30 years. Terrys business has been sustained during this time without advertising, relying on Word of Mouth Testimonials and a high commitment to Claims Service. As a counselor to his clients he assists in helping them buy the best insurance for their needs. He is currently a member of the national group "The Benefit Guys", specializing in Group and Individual Health products, Medicare, Long Term Care, Life Insurance and Supplemental benefits. Claims assistance and advice are integral components to his service.

Source: EzineArticles
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