There are many different kinds of insurance policies that may be offered as part of your workplace benefits. Each of these offers a specific kind of insurance protection, so let's look at some of the most common ones and how they might be used.
- Long-Term Care Insurance
Insurance for long-term care helps to cover expenses for someone who requires intensive care for an indefinite period of time, possibly the rest of their lives. This care applies to people who cannot perform basic daily activities on their own, such as dressing, eating, walking, and bathing themselves. Hospice and assisted living programs fall into this category. Long-term care insurance is not primarily about paying for medical bills. Instead, it covers things like the cost of an assisted living facility or hiring a live-in caregiver. Many people who choose this type of insurance policy do not feel comfortable with the idea of relying on family to shoulder the cost of long-term care.
- Disability Insurance
Statistics indicate that nearly a quarter of United States employees will suffer some sort of disabling injury before they retire. Disability insurance covers a beneficiary financially if they are unable to do their job due to disability. Depending on the type of disability insurance, beneficiaries can receive benefits for both short- and long-term disabilities, as well as paid sick leave. Beyond physical disabilities that may prevent someone from being able to function in the workplace, disability insurance can also cover someone who suffers from psychological disorders and has trouble maintaining their composure at work. Many work benefits packages include some form of disability insurance.
- Accident Insurance
Accident insurance helps to cover out-of-pocket costs and expenses of accidental injuries. The wide variety of possible expenses cover makes accident insurance a valuable supplement to other insurance policies. Medical treatment for the injury, such as physical exams and hospital visits, may be covered by general health insurance, but accident insurance can cover non-medical expenses as well. This can include things like emergency transportation and lodging. Accident insurance provides a safety net to help cover these unexpected extra costs.
- Critical Illness Insurance
Although critical illness insurance varies slightly depending on the nature of the policy, typically the insurer will pay out a lump sum to a policyholder diagnosed with one of the covered critical illnesses. It can also be structured to pay the policyholder a regular income instead of a lump sum or to pay health care providers for treatment costs. The critical illnesses included in these policies is not set in stone, but typically the policies include coverage for Alzheimer's disease, limb paralysis, kidney failure, organ transplants, and other life-threatening or degenerative diseases.
- Cancer Insurance
Cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed serious illnesses in the United States, and getting insurance that specifically covers cancer-related expenses can be an excellent investment. Beyond the traditional treatment costs, cancer insurance can cover many other related expenses, such as experimental cancer treatment or out-of-network specialists. It can also be used to cover the cost of travel and lodging if treatment locations are far away from the beneficiary's home. Even tangential costs like child care, household help, or normal living expenses can be covered by this type of disease-specific insurance.
While not all of these are likely to be included in every work benefits package, some of them may be, while others may be supplemental, opt-in choices. Knowing what each type of insurance policy covers and how it works is essential to understanding your benefits and what exactly you are being offered. You can then make an informed decision, whether that means accepting a job that offers these policies, or altering your insurance policy to include them at the beginning of a new year.