understanding your medical insurance policy

The 5 Most Useful Types of Voluntary Insurance Benefits to Offer Your Employees

by Peppi Halko

With the media covering stories on minimum wage disagreements and union negotiations almost every day, it's a crucial time for making your employees happier with a broader range of benefits. Expanding your voluntary insurance offerings is an affordable and easy way to improve job satisfaction and slow down turnover. If you're not sure which type of voluntary benefits to add, start with these five useful options that every employee can put to good use.

Chronic Illness & Disability Coverage

Anyone working for your company that has family members relying on them and their income can appreciate the safety net offered by extended medical insurance for chronic illnesses and permanent disabilities. This insurance kicks in when other forms of required health insurance reach their lifetime benefit limits. By investing in a group plan for voluntary disability protection, your employees pay a lot less to reduce their stress about future emergencies.

These benefits come in two main formats. The first is known as short or long term disability, and it provides a certain number of years' worth of income payments so you can transition gracefully. Critical and chronic illness insurance pays a single payment at the diagnosis of a serious health problem like

  • Partial or complete paralysis
  • Aneurysms and strokes
  • Heart attacks that leave you temporarily or permanently disabled
  • Comas
  • Fatal illnesses
  • Cancer and leukemia.

Identity Theft Protection

Working families don't have time to deal with drained bank accounts and creditors hounding them after a criminal steals the identity of your employee. Identity theft services are inexpensive and easy to use when something does happen. It's such a valuable type of protection for all types of workers that research revealed 25% of surveyed employers provided it to their team in 2013. Let each person determine how much reimbursement they want in cash after an identity breach so the employee can pick a plan that meets both their needs and budget.

Well-Rounded Accident Insurance

Don't forget about voluntary benefits that fills in gaps from multiple insurance policies. For example, a comprehensive accident plan helps each employee round out their car, health, and life insurance riders all at once. Accident insurance covers falls at the water park, car collisions during holiday trips, and even workplace accidents. Some policies offer lump sum cash payments the worker can use any way they please, while others pay the medical bills and lost wage reimbursements directly.

Dental & Vision Insurance

Recent changes in health insurance requirements have led many companies to cut down to basic plans since they need to cover a larger number of workers. If you had to drop paid dental and vision plans, open them up for voluntary use from employees willing to pay for them out of pocket. Buying independent dental or vision insurance is difficult because most plans sold outside of work groups come with high deductibles and low coverage. Pick a few levels of supplementary medical insurance to give plenty of options for a complete health plan.

Independent Contractor Policies

Finally, consider expanding the benefits for contractors and temporary employees too. While you may not be required by law to pay for health insurance to cover these kinds of workers, it's often hard for them to find decent plans because they're lacking the connections permanent employers provide. Giving them the same coverage as the rest of the team in exchange for a fee deducted directly from each pay check makes both the employer and independent contractor happy.

Find out what kind of voluntary benefits best fit your work force by asking them. Your employees can tell you exactly which insurance and benefit options to choose and which to skip.