Employees struggle with out-of-pocket costs, unaware of voluntary options

July 20, 2017 | By Katie Kuehner-Hebert | Benefits Pro

A large number of workers are struggling with out-of-pocket costs within high-deductible health plans, but many are also not aware of supplemental plans that can augment those costs, according to the Securian Benefits Survey July 2017.

KRC Research surveyed 573 adults in group plans on behalf of Securian Financial Group, and found that one-third (31 percent) of those with employer-provided health insurance report having paid or know a family member who has paid an unexpected out-of-pocket medical expense in the past five years caused by a critical illness such as cancer, a heart attack or a stroke.

Sixty-one percent say the costs were manageable, but a quarter (27 percent) say the costs set them back financially, and 12 percent say they could not afford the out-of-pocket costs and have not yet paid the bills.

However, less than half (44 percent) of the respondents are aware that many employers now provide supplemental group insurance options to help employees pay for out-of-pocket expenses and other costs associated with an accidental injury, hospital stay or critical illness.

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