aca & the new normal

Thirty Percent of Americans Unaware of Health Plan Deductible or Out-of-pocket Maximum

Majority have little to no familiarity with voluntary benefits

WELLESLEY, Mass., December 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial has released a study titled “Voluntary Benefits: An Unknown but Needed Option,” illustrating that due to health care costs continuing to rise, American workers need to adequately understand what voluntary benefits are.

The survey, commissioned by Assurant Employee Benefits, now part of the Sun Life family, shows that although many workers are relatively unfamiliar with voluntary benefits, once these benefits are explained, workers overwhelmingly agree that employers should offer the benefits as an option.

Additionally, nearly two in three people recognize that voluntary benefits received through employers are helpful in filling in the financial gaps in their health coverage, even if they have to pay for those benefits themselves.

Other key takeaways from the study:

  • 54% do not know their out-of-pocket maximum; 33% do not know their deductible; 30% do not know either
  • 77% are concerned about overall financial risk with employers cutting back on health care coverage
  • 62% agree that employer-provided health plans are rarely enough to cover unexpected costs and that additional coverage is needed
  • 94% consider “other” insurance offerings important when choosing a job
  • 87% say more customized benefits choices that fit their lifestyles would help them make the right health plan choices
  • 43% feel they do not have enough information from their employers regarding voluntary benefits

“Benefits communication is a crucial component of enrollment for employers,” says Joi Tillman, Vice President, Voluntary, for Sun Life Financial. “This study shows us that with good education and communication, employees will not only understand the importance of voluntary benefits, but they will seek them out for both health and financial protection.”

The study, conducted by GfK KnowledgePanel®, surveyed 1,000 randomly selected full-time employees who have the option of employer-provided benefits. Final data were weighted by age, region, race/ethnicity, education, and income. Click here to download the full study and survey results, along with the whitepaper that includes expert insights and analysis.




About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $908 billion. For more information please visit here.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
In the United States, Sun Life Financial is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in small, medium, and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life’s broad portfolio of products and services in the U.S. includes Disability and Absence Management, Life, Dental and Vision, Voluntary, and Stop-Loss insurance. This includes the acquisition of Assurant Employee Benefits in Q1 2016. For more information, please visit here.