Stephanie Dwilson

Supplemental Insurance: How to Help Employees Make the Right Choice

Supplemental insurance can be a worthwhile investment for your employees. But with so many packages and options available, your employees may feel a little confused and overwhelmed about making their decisions. As an employer, here’s how you can educate your workers about selecting the right supplemental plan.

Understanding the Supplemental Insurance Breakdown

According to ObamaCareFacts, supplemental plans are meant to serve as an add-on to a traditional health plan, and they’re typically sold by private companies to pay for health care expenses that your regular plan doesn’t cover. Supplemental plans don’t meet the minimal essential coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and aren’t meant to fill the ACA’s requirements. There are two main types: the kind that covers health needs that don’t fall under your plan at all, such as vision and dental, and the kind that helps cover extra expenses beyond your health plan, such as deductibles.

Filling Coverage Gaps

Some supplemental insurance plans cover deductibles and other costs that your traditional plan doesn’t. Fixed-benefit and short-term plans are two types of supplemental plans that fill in coverage gaps. For example, short-term plans are typically catastrophic plans that cover major issues while between insurance providers, such as the period after losing a job.

Covering Additional Benefits

Some supplemental plans cover expenses that your health insurance won’t touch, such as vision or dental. A vision plan, for example, might cover eye exams, glasses and contacts. Supplemental plans can also cover accidents or specific types of illnesses. These typically cover extras such as accidents, cancer, critical illness, hospital stays and short-term disability. Instead of covering an expense up front, the plans may pay a fixed amount for each day that employees are in the hospital and can’t work.

Learning If a Supplemental Plan Is the Right Choice

Supplemental plans are typically a good choice for people who have high-deductible health insurance plans. For example, if you get a lump sum from a supplemental plan for each day hospitalized, that can help cover a high deductible, Fox Business explained. In addition, many supplemental plans have low monthly costs, so it’s really just a matter of your employees deciding where they want to invest their money. A good dental plan could be a great way to fix cavities as they happen, rather than needing root canals in the future. And a critical illness plan could be worthwhile if an employee’s family has a history of cancer. Supplemental plans can be purchased as standalone plans, but some can be acquired as a rider on existing health plans.

To best help your employees, talk to your insurance broker and find out if your coverage has supplemental options. If so, schedule a meeting so your staff can find out what they might be missing out on. Otherwise, invite a broker from a standalone supplemental insurance company to stop by the office one day and answer any questions.

Stephanie Dwilson has extensive experience providing expertise on topics including health, law and marketing. She’s a science journalist published by Fox News, a marketing expert and a non-practicing attorney with experience in personal injury law. She’s also a small business expert featured by Businessweek and has worked as a PR lead for one of the largest churches in America.