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
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) February 10, 2009
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 insurance policy which provides benefits that can be used to add to or 'supplement' life and accident & health coverage and can provide additional benefits 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.
Supplemental 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 that provides specified benefits that can help 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:
- Shortfalls or gaps in insurance compared to their previous coverage,
- Changes in co-pay and/or deductible amounts and
- Adjustments in out-of-pocket limits.
"With a solid understanding of what primary insurance benefits cover and what they don't, an employee can take the necessary steps to obtain supplemental 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 of nearly 9,000 people worldwide, Combined Insurance meets the growing coverage needs of policyholders around the globe. For more information, call 1-800-490-1322 or visit http://www.combinedinsurance.com.
The ACE Group of Companies is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE), The ACE Group of Companies conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at http://www.acelimited.com/.
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