By Aaron Peterson, Editor Agents Advantage
Supplemental insurance providers are on the increase, making it that much more challenging to choose an agency to provide supplemental benefits for your employees. Here are a few questions to ask when making your comparison. The answers will help you evaluate each provider and make your final selection.
What will be the cost to employees who choose a supplemental policy? The monthly premium for a supplemental policy can range from $20 per year to $400 per month, depending on the type of policy selected. However, most fall within the $40 to $75 per month range. The benefits of supplemental policies are very straightforward and well-defined in terms of how much they will pay, so it is easy for employees to see the correlation between cost and potential benefits when choosing a policy.
How is policy billing handled? Find out, for example, how the company deals with missed paycheck deductions due to employee time off or other situations. You do not want your employees to be surprised by a premium bill in their mailbox, and this should not be necessary. A good agency will have options such as deferred payments or an online payment solution.
Will your own payroll provider be able to make billing adjustments when necessary, for example, when an employee wishes to cancel their policy?
How many billing modes are available? Some providers offer the flexibility of having weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly billing.
How well do the supplemental policies integrate with primary insurance? Benefits from supplemental policies are paid in addition to benefits from the main policy, and benefits should be easily coordinated so that gaps are filled without duplicating coverage. Cash benefits offer the flexibility to replace lost income and to pay for other needs related to illness or disability.
Does the carrier offer universal availability? Most supplemental insurance policies offer coverage to anyone who applies, and do not turn down applicants based on age or medical history.
Are pre-existing medical conditions covered? This is one of the main benefits of having supplemental insurance.
Does the provider have a toll free customer service number?
Does the carrier pay claims promptly? This is really the most important factor when choosing a supplemental insurance provider. Check with your local insurance board for customer satisfaction ratings, and also find out if the provider has a claims committee that reviews denied claims.
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