For small-business owners, adding supplemental insurance options to your benefits package can help employees safeguard their hard-earned savings.

By Andy Glaub

Summer is all about relaxation and fun, but it is also a time when we focus on protecting ourselves from bad things that can happen during sun-splashed days in the great outdoors. We slather on sunscreen and grab a hat to shield us from the danger of sun exposure. We keep the insect repellent handy to ward off voracious mosquitoes, and we make sure the kids are wearing their water wings in the pool.

While in this protective mindset, consider going a step further to help your employees protect themselves from one of the biggest bites of all: the damage that an unexpected accident or illness can wreak on their personal finances. For small-business owners, adding supplemental insurance options to your benefits package can be a powerful way to boost employee satisfaction, while helping employees safeguard their hard-earned savings.

Supplemental coverage: A growing trend

More companies today are using supplemental coverage to make their benefits package more attractive to employees. In fact, a recent survey found that two-thirds of U.S. employers expect these benefits to be a “very” or “more important” component of their employee value proposition in the next three to five years.¹

It is easy to see why these offerings are so popular. When an unforeseen crisis strikes, supplemental coverage pays cash benefits directly to the employee to help cover expenses such as out-of-pocket medical costs and daily living needs. Research shows more than half of employees would not be able to cover unexpected medical costs of $1,000 or more.² Based on that feedback, getting help with expenses health insurance doesn’t cover could be a financial lifesaver for a large portion of your workforce.

Coverage options to meet diverse needs

Here is a quick look at a wide range of supplemental policies, like those offered by Aflac, which can help reduce financial risk and bring greater peace of mind to both you and your employees:

  • Accidental injury – This coverage helps employees cope with significant bills that can pile up when they are injured in an accident. For those who lose pay when they are out of work, that mounting stack of bills can throw the entire family into financial peril. The benefits paid by these policies can be used in any way the employee chooses, whether that means taking care of out-of-pocket costs not covered by their health insurance or making sure the mortgage or rent gets paid that month. Accident coverage is also notably a versatile option for employers. You can decide whether you want coverage available on the job, off the job or both. These different levels of coverage help employers adhere to all employees’ budgetary restrictions – and their own.
  • Hospital stay – The average cost of a three-day hospital stay can be around $30,000,³ which means that even employees with health insurance are likely to see some eye-popping bills for their copayments and deductible obligations after being hospitalized. Employees with hospital coverage can rest easier and focus on their recovery knowing they have additional cash coming in to help with those costs – or to help with other urgent family expenses like child care or utility bills. The adaptability and ease of use of a hospital policy also makes it a compelling addition for small-business owners looking to bolster their suite of health benefits.
  • Critical illness – No matter their age or how healthy they seem, any one of your employees could suddenly face a significant illness diagnosis. Critical illness coverage helps with costs associated with serious health issues, such as major organ transplant, cancer, heart attack and more. Sicknesses like these can generate substantial out-of-pocket costs stretching out months – even years. With this coverage in place, employees can reduce their financial worries, concentrate on getting well and preserve more of their savings. And for employers, the peace of mind that can be gained from helping your employees be financially prepared from a worst-case scenario is a welcome relief.

Some supplemental insurance providers can also provide small-business owners access to value-added services that address unique employee needs. Showing employees you care for them is critical in the competitive talent acquisition landscape, and there are few better low-cost avenues to do so than by offering services like these, which can provide Day One value. Consider these popular options:

  • Help navigating the health care system, resolving billing issues and negotiating with providers to potentially lower existing medical bills.
  • Access to licensed professional counselors who offer confidential assistance and resource support for a full range of personal, family and work/life problems.
  • Financial and legal advice, including online assistance with preparing wills and other documents.

A win for small-business owners and employees

As a small-business employer, you face choices every day regarding how to protect your assets, especially the extremely valuable asset that is your workforce. Offering supplemental coverage can help build loyalty and engagement among your team members, showing you care about more than just their work responsibilities.

This summer, as you encourage your employees and their families to stay safe and well, also consider how you can help protect their financial well-being, offer peace of mind, and help your business succeed through supplemental coverage.

Andy Glaub, a 33-year veteran of Aflac, is the senior vice president, director of sales. He oversees the U.S. Sales team and is responsible for sales strategy, innovation and development in the worksite benefits market. For more information on offering or purchasing Aflac, get to know us at Aflac.com.


¹Willis Towers Watson. “2018 Emerging Trends: Voluntary Benefits and Services Survey.” Press release issued April 10, 2018. Accessed June 3, 2019. https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-US/press/2018/04/voluntary-benefits-now-viewed-as-essential-willis-towers-watson-survey-finds.

²2018 Aflac WorkForces Report. Employee Overview, Page 8. Accessed June 3, 2019. https://www.aflac.com/docs/awr/pdf/2018-overview/2018-aflac-workforces-report-employee-overview.pdf.

³“Why health insurance is important: Protection from high medical costs.” Accessed June 3, 2019. https://www.healthcare.gov/why-coverage-is-important/protection-from-high-medical-costs.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.

Employee stock photo by Nattakorn_Maneera/Shutterstock