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Are you prepared for a financial emergency?

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

(Statepoint) Financial stability means more than just being able to cover your monthly expenses. It means having resources to make it through the unexpected.

According to a “Special Report: Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America on Employee Benefits” study, conducted by Lincoln Financial Group in 2015, 86 percent of employees are confident they can afford today’s health care expenses — a number that drops significantly to 74 percent for the years ahead.

While those numbers may sound optimistic, only 18 percent of those polled feel very confident they could cover their current expenses in the event of a major injury or illness. And when faced with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by a medical program, workers say they would dip into savings or checking accounts, credit cards and even their 401(k).

Some non-medical benefits can help bridge the gap between today’s confidence and tomorrow’s concerns.

“Fortunately, many employers offer important non-medical benefits that can help alleviate the need to incur debt or dip into savings and retirement accounts in the event of a major illness or injury,” says Eric Reisenwitz, senior vice president of group protection operations and product for Lincoln Financial Group. “Enrolling in these benefits can help you face medical expenses with confidence.”

Reisenwitz says that some important non-medical benefits include:

Disability: Disability coverage — both short- and long-term — can help replace a portion of lost wages during recovery from injury or illness. Benefits are paid weekly or monthly and you decide how the benefits are used, just as you would with a regular paycheck. Partial disability benefits are also an option if you’re only able to perform part of your job or return to work part time.

Accident Insurance: Accidents happen. And even with medical insurance, you still have deductibles and copayments. Accident insurance can help you bounce back by providing funds to help pay for expenses other insurance may not cover.

Critical Illness Insurance: Treatment and recovery from such illnesses as heart attacks, strokes and cancer takes time. Critical illness insurance helps you recover financially while you recover your health, by providing a lump-sum benefit to pay for medical or living expenses that other insurance may not cover.

Life Insurance: A life insurance policy can pay cash to your beneficiaries in the event that you die unexpectedly, helping them cope with burial expenses and the loss of your income, ensuring they are left financially protected. Life insurance benefits can help protect your loved ones no matter your stage of life, covering student loans, credit card debt, home payments, college savings, the cost of a mortgage, and even financing retirement.

Vision and Dental Insurance: Good dental health is important, as doctors have found links between gum disease and serious medical conditions. Dental insurance assists in the payment of dental care fees. A vision plan can help your family reduce out-of-pocket expenses on regular check-ups and corrective lenses.

More information can be found at www.lfg.com/GPEmployeeBenefits.

It’s important to take charge of your financial future, and a good place to start is by exploring your employer’s non-medical benefits plan.