In addition to a retirement plan and health insurance, many employers offer a suite of additional benefits called workplace benefits. These benefits often include several different types of insurance that are meant to help employees protect themselves and their families in the event of serious illness, injury and death.
What are they?
Work benefits are a series of supplemental benefits that employers often offer as an add-on to traditional benefits. They often are referred to as voluntary benefits, because employers who choose them usually are responsible for paying the entire cost of premiums.
Who are they for?
Voluntary benefits usually are available to all full-time employees, and some companies may make them available to part-time employees as well. Though they can benefit anyone, they are a particularly good idea for people who would experience and extreme hardship if an injury or illness left them out of work. This includes single parents, people who are the sole source of income in a household and those who have jobs that put them at risk of injury or illness.
How do they work?
Work benefits policies usually pay out a lump sum if you experience and injury or illness that is covered by the policy. The money is yours to do with as you choose, and you can use it to pay medical bills or to cover other expenses while you are out of work.
Different types of coverage
Employers can make as few or as many different types of voluntary benefits available to their employees, but some of the most common ones are short- and long-term disability insurance, accident insurance, critical illness or cancer insurance, long-term care insurance and universal life insurance.
The main benefit provided by workplace benefits is extra income when an illness or injury has left you unable to work. An additional benefit of getting them through work is that you pay group premium rates, which usually are much lower than individual premium rates.