What are Voluntary Benefits?
Your employer might offer you benefits in addition to your health insurance, such as life and disability coverage. Known as voluntary benefits because you have the option to choose them, they offer an extra layer of coverage to protect your finances.
Although you typically pay the premium for voluntary benefits, the rates may be lower when you purchase them through your employer than if you could buy them on your own. Premiums are usually paid through your paycheck, making it easier for you to enroll and be financially protected.
Types of voluntary benefits
Voluntary benefits may include variety of products. Some common types of coverage include:
A voluntary life policy is designed to help take care of your family's current and future financial obligations after you die. Term life is paid for a set period (10 years, for instance) and then ends. Whole life plans typically are in force for your entire lifetime and accumulate a cash value that you can borrow against. Term life often costs less in premium, but doesn’t have the added benefit of being an investment.
If you get hurt and are unable to work, disability coverage pays you while you’re not earning a paycheck. It will pay in addition to other disability coverage your work may have for you. You can use the payments for any purpose, including paying your monthly bills such as rent or mortgage payments, educational expenses, food, and car payments.
An accident plan pays you in addition to your health plan coverage when you have an injury due to a covered accident. The plan may pay a set amount, or it may reimburse you for your covered expenses according to your schedule of benefits. Either way, the benefit is typically paid directly to you.
You may want to protect your finances in the event of a serious illness such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke. A critical illness plan pays a lump sum of cash to you if you are diagnosed with a covered illness. The benefit is typically paid directly to you, to pay your ongoing expenses and monthly bills.
Understand your voluntary benefits
It helps to understand your voluntary benefit options before making a decision. Benefits fairs, free counseling during open enrollment season, and literature from your benefits administrator can help you sort out how to make the most of your voluntary benefits.
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This information is only a high-level summary of certain provisions of the health care law. This information does NOT attempt to summarize all provisions of the health care reform law. This information is not and should NOT be used as legal or tax advice; it should not be used as a basis for decisions regarding how the health care reform law will affect you and/or your business. Should you have any questions on how the health care reform law (including the high level summary of certain provisions of health care reform) will affect you and/or your business, you should seek professional advice from attorneys or other advisors.
Insured by Humana Insurance Company, Humana Health Plan, Inc., Humana Health Insurance Company of Florida, Inc., or Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, Inc. or offered by Humana Medical Plan Inc., Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., or Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc.
For Arizona residents: Insured by Humana Insurance Company. For Texas residents: Insured by Humana Insurance Company or offered by Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc.
Our health benefit plans have exclusions and limitations and terms under which the coverage may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call or write your Humana insurance agent or broker.