Now that most employers have completed their annual benefit enrollment period, Combined Insurance, a leading provider of supplemental insurance, recommends employees assess their insurance benefits and coverage to identify potential gaps in coverage due to changes in their employer-sponsored plans.
"The current economic environment drove many employers to reduce benefit plan options and to require employees to share more of the cost of their insurance benefits," says Becky Mills, vice president, research and development at Combined Insurance. "This creates the potential for people to be 'financially exposed' as their primary insurance benefits may not cover as much as they used to and their premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses may be higher. For people in this situation, supplemental insurance – also known as gap insurance – can be an attractive option."
Supplemental insurance is a separate gap insurance policy that can add to or 'supplement' life and health coverage and can provide additional funds to help support workers faced with shrinking employer-paid healthcare and rising out-of-pocket costs.
Employers Offering Fewer Worker Health Care Plans
According to a recent New York Times article, "Employers Offer Workers Fewer Health Care Plans," while many employees are fortunate enough to have a job at a company that still offers health insurance benefits, the health plan could have a high annual deductible that is likely to be $1,100 or more for an individual and much higher for family coverage.
Other statistics show that prices will continue to rise. A recent survey by Watson Wyatt reports 46 percent of employers have raised employee contributions for health insurance benefits or plan to do so in the coming year.
Gap insurance can be a financial lifesaver
"If your employer has reduced sponsored benefits or increased your share of insurance benefits costs, you might want to consider a supplemental insurance plan to fill the gaps in your coverage or help offset additional out-of-pocket costs," states Mills. She recommends employees take the time to review their current coverage to identify:
"With a solid understanding of what primary insurance benefits cover and what they don't, an employee can take the necessary steps to obtain gap insurance to ensure optimum protection," adds Mills.
"Supplemental insurance policies are available for a wide range of situations with an equally broad range of benefits in all price ranges," continues Mills. "We recommend contacting an insurance agent who can help identify available options."
About Combined Insurance
Combined Insurance (http://www.combinedinsurance.com.) is a leading provider of supplemental accident, health and life insurance products and is a member of the ACE Group of Companies. With a field sales force and corporate staff in excess of 10,000 people worldwide, Combined Insurance meets the growing coverage needs of policyholders around the globe. For more information, call 1-800-490-1322 or visit combinedinsurance.com.
ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 54 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at acegroup.com.