When you think about the word “supplemental,” what comes to mind? Something less important? An add-on? A bonus rather than a necessity? 

Now consider supplemental benefits. While not the foundation of a benefit package, they shouldn’t be demoted to second class status. Supplemental benefits — coverage for accidents and serious illnesses — meet a unique need that core benefits don’t satisfy. That makes them important in an integrated benefit package, not lesser. 

Addressing coverage gaps

Supplemental benefits provide protection beyond other benefits. If your clients say, “But we already offer medical and disability,” be prepared with the answer. While medical insurance helps pay for traditional medical expenses and disability insurance helps replace lost income, there’s still a gap. Additional needs — those unexpected out-of-pocket costs — can be catastrophic. Expenses like deductibles, travel costs, childcare, home health care and even everyday bills. 

Coverage for expenses like these helps employees focus on getting well, rather than worrying about how they’ll manage financially. That’s the beauty of supplemental benefits. 

According to this year's BenefitsPRO/Eastbridge voluntary benefits survey of more than 400 producers, accident insurance is the top-selling voluntary product for voluntary brokers, and critical illness coverage is the top-selling voluntary product for benefit brokers. 

What’s in it for your employer clients?

Offering supplemental benefits is a win-win for your employer clients and their employees. 

Employers: Most often, these benefits are offered on a voluntary, employee-paid basis, so it doesn’t impact the employer’s bottom line. They also help employers fill coverage gaps and balance out the high cost of medical plans.  

Employees: Supplemental products provide access to benefits that offset high deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses at attractive (group insurance) rates.

What’s your current perspective on supplemental benefits? If you’ve been viewing them as less valuable, it’s time to update your mindset and elevate their status. Incorporating supplemental products with core benefit solutions yields a comprehensive benefits package that employers and their employees need — and want.