Avoid Providing ‘House of Cards’ Coverage

All Complementary Benefits Executive Health December 21, 2016

Employees expect their healthcare insurance plans to protect them by providing coverage for health expenses when they need it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to pay for treatment and would be either left unhealthy (due to being unable to receive the treatment) or in serious debt (due to having the treatment despite not being able to afford it)—financially unhealthy.

But what happens when employees think they have efficient coverage to protect them only to find out the opposite? This creates a ‘house of cards’ effect.

House of Cards

Before House of Cards was a popular Netflix TV show, it was an expression that meant ‘a structure or plan built on a shaky foundation that could easily collapse and be destroyed.’ In other words, something hinging on very precariously balanced conditions.

Let’s equate those conditions to some health plans, like worksite voluntary plans, that provide coverage only for a specified event or illness. Meaning that unless particular conditions are met as defined in the scope of coverage, no coverage will be supplied.

On their own, these types of plans can be effective. They provide additional coverage for things like hospitalizations and critical illness expenses. But when paired with an employee’s expectation that they will provide additional coverage, no matter what, they create a false sense of security.

Risk Averse

Employees are naturally risk averse, which means that when faced with the choice of adding on additional coverage to their high deductible health plan or not, they will choose to opt into the worksite voluntary plans to alleviate any risk of being unprotected.

Unfortunately what many employees don’t understand is that they still have gaps in coverage for more ordinary expenses that won’t be covered by their worksite voluntary plan because of the defined scope.

So when an employee suffers a health event expecting to be covered, but isn’t because the conditions aren’t met, the house of cards comes tumbling down.

Now What?

When considering health benefits to offer to your employees, seek health insurance with far-reaching value to give them a true sense of security.

If you do offer worksite voluntary plans, make sure your employees understand that these plans often have coverage limitations.

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