Employees are aware but not prepared for the unexpected

A couple reviewing documents

Many recognize the risk of unexpected medical expenses but say they’re not financially ready for one.

A recent study commissioned from New York Life Group Benefit Solutions* shows that a substantial percentage of employees have experienced unexpected medical issues. In fact, 62 percent of adults report that they or an immediate family member have experienced an unexpected medical issue in the past two years.


Many are not financially prepared

While they may recognize the likelihood of facing this situation, a significant portion of surveyed employees say they don’t feel prepared to face unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The study found that 4-in-10 adults (41%) do not feel prepared to face an unexpected out-of-pocket medical expense, with only 20 percent saying they feel very prepared. While almost 7-in-10 men (69%) feel prepared to face an out-of-pocket medical cost, less than half of women (49%) feel the same way.


The potential for financial risk is high.

This vulnerability exposes employees to potential financial hardships and the need to make difficult financial decisions. With 42 percent of employees surveyed reporting that they have a medical plan out-of-pocket maximum of $3,000 or more, a substantial number of employees may face significant financial burdens in the event of a serious illness or medical emergency.


Addressing gaps with supplemental health benefits.

These latest findings underscore the value of offering supplemental health benefits to employees, such as critical illness, accident insurance, and hospital indemnity. These benefits can play a crucial role in alleviating the burdens of rising healthcare costs by providing additional financial protection and coverage that helps address gaps in many medical plans.

*New York Life Group Benefit Solutions commissioned an online poll between September 29-October 5, 2023 of nearly 2,000 adults employed in the private or government sector. Survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.