MetLife, a leading provider of employee benefits, today announced the release of new research exploring the growing need and popularity of supplemental health solutions. Findings are highlighted in MetLife’s white paper, Accident and Critical Illness Insurance Are Surprisingly Good for Business!, which examines the financial risks associated with accidents and critical illnesses and how employers can effectively leverage voluntary insurance solutions to not only provide added financial protection to employees, but to address their own business challenges. The paper can be downloaded at metlife.com/cwb. The Financial Impact of Accidents and Critical Illnesses The white paper is based on two studies: the MetLife Accident and Critical Illness Impact Study and the MetLife Accident and Critical Illness IQ Study, both conducted in late 2013. The Impact Study reveals the significant financial impacts accidents and critical illnesses can have on families. The study finds that out-of-pocket costs associated with an unexpected health issue can be as high as $4,112 for an accident and $14,444 for a critical illness. Moreover, lost income from accidents and critical illnesses can be as much as $26,900 and $50,600 respectively, putting a significant burden on a household. This is especially concerning since one in four surveyed employees admit they do not know where the money would come from should they face a health issue such as critical illness. “According to the MetLife Accident and Critical Illness IQ Study employees significantly underestimate the costs associated with an accident or critical illness, especially lost income. This disconnect may leave employees financially vulnerable should they face an unexpected health issue,” says Meredith Ryan-Reid, vice president, Accident & Health/Worksite Benefits for MetLife. “Further, the shift toward increased employee responsibility for health care costs through consumer-directed and high deductible heath care plans is leaving employees more exposed than ever to these financial risks. Even with medical and disability coverage, there are gaps in these coverages that could leave employees unprepared.” Supplemental Health Solutions Supplemental health products, such as accident and critical illness insurance, can help fill in the gaps, which may include lost income and out-of-pocket medical and non-medical expenses such as co-pays, transportation to treatment centers, and childcare. Accident and critical illness benefits are paid regardless of what is covered by medical insurance or other coverages and payments are made directly to employees to spend as they choose.