Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that its Employee Benefits business has expanded its suite of supplemental insurance products to help employers and their employees as both groups increasingly seek financial wellness solutions through workplace-based offerings.
Specifically, Voya’s newly enhanced supplemental hospital indemnity and short-term disability income insurance products will help Americans address financial protection needs. Voya’s own customer data shows that more than four out of 10 retirement plan participants (44%) have protection or insurance gaps in their coverage, and nearly one-third (32%) of retirement plan hardship withdrawals are due to unreimbursed medical expenses.
“Our primary goal with these enhancements is to provide affordable solutions that can help Americans cover the out-of-pocket costs of some of the biggest financial challenges they face today,” said Rob Grubka, president, Voya Employee Benefits. “As consumer-driven health-care plans continue to grow in popularity and usage, supplemental insurance products — like Voya’s new hospital indemnity and short-term disability income insurance — can help mitigate the need for employees to dip into their retirement accounts and other savings to cover unexpected out-of-pocket costs, so they can focus on getting back on their feet and back to work.”
- Hospital Indemnity Insurance — This product enhancement is Voya’s next-generation hospital indemnity solution offered as supplemental health insurance through the workplace. It offers a range of new features that employers can tailor to help their employees address their health and wellness needs — including newborn child coverages, ability to cover hospital or rehabilitative facility confinements due to mental health disorders, as well as alcoholism and drug addiction, and other options. These new features complement the traditional benefits offered with Voya’s hospital indemnity insurance, which pays a fixed daily benefit for a covered hospital stay.
- Short-Term Disability Income Insurance — This product is the newest offering in Voya’s growing portfolio of supplemental insurance solutions through the workplace. It pays a percentage of a covered employee’s salary if they become temporarily disabled and are unable to work. For employers, this supplemental short-term disability insurance is adaptable to most enrollment systems, offers flexible plan designs, is 100% employee-paid and has low participant plan requirements. For employees, there are no health questions to answer to obtain coverage, it’s portable if they switch employers in the future and the claims process is flexible — allowing individuals to submit a claim online, over the phone or via paper submission.
“Employers will be able to easily select the options that best meet the needs of their workforce. For example, to help employees who are planning to start or grow their family, employers might consider including some of the additional newborn child coverages available in Voya’s hospital indemnity insurance so that expecting parents can focus on their baby rather than worrying about hospital bills. For people with mental health disorders or addiction challenges, this insurance can help break down some of the cost barriers that prohibit them from getting the treatment they need due to confinement costs, while at the same time having much-needed access to salary protection from short-term disability,” said David Fry, senior vice president, Employee Benefits Product and Pricing, Voya Financial.
“The convergence of health and wealth has shifted the workplace benefits landscape. Employers are increasingly looking for supplemental offerings that they can easily integrate into their workplace benefits and the financial wellness programs that their employees’ value. According to industry research, two-thirds of employers (69%) believe supplemental benefits will be a very or more important component of their employee value proposition in three to five years — nearly double the percentage (36%) who currently feel this way,” explained Fry.
According to industry research, U.S. health-care spending is forecasted to grow by 5.8% on an average annual rate basis from 2012 to 2022. And with 78% of U.S. workers living paycheck to paycheck, it would be difficult for many Americans to pay for an unexpected cost not covered under their health insurance plan. For example, the average cost of one day in the hospital in the U.S. is more than $2,400, with the average patient staying more than four days. Additionally, when you consider an estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosed mental disorder each year, the demand for additional protection products to serve the growing wellness needs of Americans is clear.
“I would encourage employees to take some time to look at all of their workplace benefits to help with their physical and financial needs,” said Grubka. “Their employer has done the homework to find the products they believe their employees will value and, often, at a group rate that is less expensive than if the employee buys it on their own.”
Voya Employee Benefits’ supplemental insurance products — including its new hospital indemnity and short-term disability income insurance — are offered through the workplace as “voluntary” or employee-selected coverage that is processed and administered similarly to traditional group insurance. Employers may choose to: fund the plan for their employees; offer it as an option employees can purchase through their workplace benefits; or create a combined option in which the employer pays a portion of the benefit and the employee can purchase additional coverage.
Voya Employee Benefits offers stop loss, group life, disability and supplemental health insurance products through the workplace, as well as health savings and spending accounts, to employers and their employees. The business has extensive experience in the design, implementation and administration of employee benefits plans, and offers a full range of supplemental insurance products that include critical illness/specified disease, accident, hospital indemnity and disability income insurance.