The following is an excerpt from BenefitsPro article “4 Trends from 2017” BY SCOTT WOOLDRIDGE”

The popularity of voluntary benefits continued to grow in 2017, especially with more people enrolled in HSAs and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs). Many voluntary benefits products help cover unexpected, or unexpectedly high, costs that might create a problem for families who are on plans with high deductibles. Examples of such products include critical illness insurance and accident insurance.

“Absolutely, we are seeing that voluntary benefits have really taken off in the past few years,” says Boucher. “They help employers round out their benefit offerings to their employees.”

She notes that health plans in her state have traditionally featured higher deductibles than in many other places, so having voluntary benefit plans that cover things like accidents or critical illnesses can help ease the sticker shock. “You can fill in the gaps; if someone with a $2,000 or $3,000 deductible has an accident and has to go to the ER, a voluntary benefit will help them cover some of those costs. It’s how we’re back-filling certain high-deductible policies.”

Reid agrees. “Now that people are paying more out of pocket, they’re increasingly interested in voluntary benefits,” he says. “We’re seeing a bigger demand for these products from employees who want to pick and choose which benefits work best for them.”

read the full article at : Benefitspro

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Tracie Carrigan
Author: Tracie Carrigan

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