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Workplace Benefits

All you need to know about work benefits
In addition to health insurance, retirement and paid time off, many employers these days also offer additional benefits to employees. These benefits are usually aimed at helping the employee protect him or herself financially against loss of income because of an injury or illness. These supplemental benefits are usually quite popular and can help with recruiting and retention of workers.

What are they?
Supplemental benefits, also called workplace benefits, are a suite of optional benefits that often are offered to employees. Unlike health insurance and retirement, employers usually do not contribute to the cost of these benefits but instead, offer them as a convenience to employees.

Who are they for?
Supplemental work benefits usually are available to all full-time employees and may be available to part-time employees as well. There are certain types of employees who would benefit from them more than others. These include single parents, single wage earners in a household, someone who is supporting either adult or child dependents and people with jobs that are at higher risk of causing illness or injury.

How do they work?
Supplemental benefits are called that because they typically work as a supplement to fill in gaps not caused by other insurance. They usually kick in because of a qualifying event, such as an illness or injury that keeps you out of work for an extended period of time. You must file a claim, and then the policy benefits will kick in once the claim is verified as being covered by the policy.

There are a number of types of supplemental benefits that an employer might offer to employees. Among the most commonly offered today are accident insurance, critical illness insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance and universal life insurance.

Major benefits
Supplemental benefits offer one big advantage: the promise of additional financial support if you are unable to work for an extended period of time due to illness or injury. An additional benefit is that by getting them through your employer, you usually pay much lower monthly premiums than you would if you bought a policy on your own.