Attracting Talent; Protecting Families

Dec 16, 2021

[Life Insurance 101 Series: This series features IMPACT posts that detail the breadth of the industry’s reach and benefits provided to consumers.] 

The COVID-19 pandemic slammed America’s economy last year, with millions of people temporarily leaving the workforce. Many have since resumed working. But others have stayed on the sidelines, leaving many employers scrambling to fill open positions.

More than 11 million jobs across the country remain unfilled. To entice job applicants, many employers are offering incentives such as signing bonuses, free childcare and college tuition payments.

Savvy employers looking to attract candidates can offer another incentive – actually several of them. They can provide their employees with an array of supplemental benefit products that are designed to help people protect their family budgets from unexpected costs due to illness or injury. In fact, employer surveys continue to show that the number one reason employers offer supplemental insurance is to satisfy employee need, interest, or demand, and to recruit top talent. This is more important than ever in light of the seismic shift in employment patterns caused by COVID. 

These products are separate and distinct from major medical insurance. They fill gaps in coverage that standard medical insurance doesn’t provide. And they are essential for the financial security of many families across the country.

Typically, these policies pay benefits in a lump sum directly to the policyholders to use at their discretion. For example, if a worker suddenly falls ill and needs hospitalization, a hospital indemnity plan pays benefits that policyholders typically use to cover items that health insurance is not meant to cover like childcare or travel expenses. Policyholders also typically use their benefits to cover deductibles and co-pays, which get more expensive each year even with the best health insurance plans. Other supplemental plans pay benefits for diagnoses of serious illnesses or injuries resulting from accidents.

An unexpected illness or accident can be catastrophic for a family, emotionally and physically. And the costs from an unexpected illness or accident can be devastating to a family’s budget. Many consumers are at a severe financial risk from steep costs that are not covered by their medical insurance. Supplemental benefits can provide the financial cushion that families need.

For many American workers, the importance of safety and financial security has never been greater. The pandemic has triggered a large-scale reassessment about work/life balance and personal and family responsibilities. Now more than ever, workers are looking for jobs where they will be safe while providing for their families. By offering supplemental benefit products, employers can help provide that financial security while working to attract and retain employees in today’s hypercompetitive job market.

Cindy Goff

Cindy Goff is Vice President, Supplemental Benefits and Group Insurance at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), where she develops and implements state and federal public policy positions and strategies to ensure access to innovative financial protection products. She has also served as Director of Health Policy for Aflac and VP of Product Policy at America’s Health Insurance Plans.