(BPT) – Every year, employees with company-sponsored health plans are asked by their employers to select benefits for the following year. This process is called “open enrollment,” and it is an important event that is happening across the nation. While many view this as a chance to merely review and update health care coverage, such as medical, dental and vision, it is actually about much more than that.
According to the 2014 Workplace Benefits Study conducted by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), 74 percent of middle-income employees derive the majority of their financial security from the benefits they receive at work. Guardian suggests that families review their voluntary benefit options, such as life or disability insurance, in order to fill any gaps in coverage that could cause financial trouble in the wake of a crisis or medical event.
Here are some important benefits that are often overlooked when making elections during the open enrollment period, along with a brief explanation of how they can help you protect your income and preserve your savings:
Disability insurance – Your most important asset is your ability to earn an income. If you and your family rely on your income, disability insurance can help provide you with a stream of income if you are unable to work due to an illness – such as cancer – as well as accidents.
Life insurance – Life insurance is a great foundation of a smart financial plan. It’s about protecting your family and the life you work hard to give them. Having the right amount of life insurance can give you peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of if the unexpected was to happen. It can help them stay in the same home, pay off debt, or pay for college and anything else they may need if you are not there to support them financially.
Critical illness – Critical Illness insurance lets you focus on recovery, not finances. A serious illness such as stroke or heart attack could strike at any time, with no warning. You can use your benefit to pay for daily expenses and outstanding bills. Protect your savings; payments go directly to you – not the hospital.
Accident Insurance – No one sees an accident coming – but if you are in one, it can be devastating for your finances. An accident can bring unexpected expenses such as deductibles, emergency room fees and transportation costs. Accident insurance can ease the burden by helping you pay these additional bills.
Cancer Insurance – If you get a diagnosis of cancer, the last thing you need to think about is paying for treatment. Cancer brings many out-of-pocket expenses that your insurance may not cover and can cost you and your family thousands of dollars. Cancer insurance can help you pay for unexpected costs such as travel to treatment centers, loss of income, deductibles, co-pays and more.
It’s important to be aware of all the benefits offered to you at your workplace. Review all available options to make certain you are fully covered for your current situation – and for life’s unknown events. Check out Guardian’s two-minute videos that reinforce that good financial health and security begins with the benefits offered at the workplace at www.guardiananytime.com.