Insurance Benefits to Consider During the Time of COVID-19

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Insurance Benefits to Consider During the Time of COVID-19

3 min read September 02, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how many of us think about our lives and how we plan our financial goals. We all want to protect our families in this uncertain environment, and open enrollment provides an excellent time to act towards our protection goals. By choosing the right insurance benefits to supplement your employer-provided medical insurance plan, you can help yourself be more prepared for the unexpected and help yourself feel more confident about the future. Here are four voluntary benefits worth consideration:

Hospital Indemnity Insurance

You might be shocked to discover that the average three-day hospital1 stay costs around $30,000, according to healthcare.gov. That's where hospital indemnity insurance can help.

It provides coverage for hospital stays,1 accident-related inpatient rehabilitation expenses, and a variety of expenses related to being in the hospital. This insurance pays a lump sum directly to the policyholder, providing funds for things medical insurance may not cover.

For example, you can use hospital indemnity insurance to pay the cost of co-pays, deductibles, household expenses, childcare expenses, or out-of-network costs—you decide how to spend the money.

Another benefit — with MetLife hospital indemnity insurance, the benefit can be extended to family members, and coverage is guaranteed, if you're actively employed.2 And if you leave your current employer, the policy may be able to go with you.3 Paying the premium is easy —deductions come right out of your paycheck. Costs vary, depending on your employer demographics and upon whether you elect single coverage or family coverage. Internal estimates show a MetLife single plan could cost between $9-$20 per month, depending on the amount of the benefit. Ask our employee benefits representative about costs for your plan.

Critical Illness Insurance

Like hospital indemnity insurance, critical illness insurance also pays a lump sum directly to the policyholder, if you have a covered critical illness, like a heart attack4 or even COVID-19 (in some cases). You can use the money as you see fit for any expenses, including groceries, co-pays, transportation expenses, rent payments or mortgage payments—you name it. This money pays you on top of what medical insurance covers, so think of it as a supplement to cover expenses that you'd have to pay out of pocket.

Bonus — Critical illness insurance can be affordable. Plan premiums vary, depending on your employer demographics and on your own demographics such as age, smoking status, and whether you elect single coverage or family coverage.5 But, the cost may be less than you think — Internal estimates reveal that a 40-year-old female nurse could pay between $25-$30 per month for a single plan benefit of $30,000. Ask your employee benefits representative about costs for your plan.

Life Insurance

While there are several types of life insurance, two of the most common are term and whole life insurance. Term life insurance is designated around a specified time frame and pays a death benefit to the beneficiary(s), if the policyholder dies while the policy is in effect. Whole life insurance covers the policyholder throughout his or her life if the premiums are paid. Whole life insurance pays a death benefit, but unlike term insurance, it also can build cash value.

Life insurance benefits can offer financial support for things like funeral expenses, family living expenses, and school tuition. Many employers offer life insurance as a benefit, but it may not be enough to cover your family’s financial needs or preferences. As a rule of thumb, experts recommend a life insurance policy that's at least 10 times a person’s salary.

Legal Plan

Setting up an estate plan may feel more urgent this year, due to COVID-19. But it’s not fun to think about—especially when attorney fees average $370 an hour.6 That’s why a legal plan may be a good investment. For a small fee that's deducted from your paycheck (it costs around $20 a month with MetLife7), you can have unlimited access to experienced lawyers who can help with some of the most common personal legal issues, from creating your estate plan to buying or selling a home to debt collection. The savings—and convenience—might be worth it.

It's hard to make decisions about benefits in a changing world, but we're here to help. Take our quiz  to see what types of insurance might be right for you.

Learn More about the products in this article

Choose the Right Benefits

Answer a few quick questions, and we’ll provide recommendations for benefits that support your lifestyle and goals.

1 Hospital does not include certain facilities such as nursing homes, convalescent care or extended care facilities. See your Disclosure Statement or Outline of Coverage/Disclosure Document for full details.

2 Coverage is guaranteed provided (1) the employee is actively at work and (2) dependents to be covered are not subject to medical restrictions as set forth on the enrollment form and in the Certificate. Some states require the insured to have medical coverage. Additional restrictions apply to dependents serving in the armed forces or living overseas.

3 Eligibility for portability through the Continuation of Insurance with Premium Payment provision may be subject to certain eligibility requirements and limitations. For more information, contact your MetLife representative.

4 The Heart Attack Covered Condition pays a benefit for the occurrence of a myocardial infarction, subject to the terms of the certificate.  A myocardial infarction does not include sudden cardiac arrest.

5 Coverage for Domestic Partners, civil union partners and reciprocal beneficiaries varies by state. Dependent child coverage varies by state. Please contact MetLife for more information.

6 Based on the average hourly rate of $370 based on years of legal experience, National Law Journal and ALM Legal Intelligence, Survey of law Firm Economics (2018).

Your price may vary please see your plan for details.

METLIFE'S HOSPITAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE IS A LIMITED BENEFIT GROUP INSURANCE POLICY. The policy is not intended to be a substitute for medical coverage and certain states may require the insured to have medical coverage to enroll for the coverage. The policy or its provisions may vary or be unavailable in some states. Prior hospital confinement may be required to receive certain benefits. There is a preexisting condition limitation for hospital sickness benefits. MetLife’s Hospital Indemnity Insurance may be subject to benefit reductions that begin at age 65. Like most group accident and health insurance policies, policies offered by MetLife may contain certain exclusions, limitations and terms for keeping them in force. For complete details of coverage and availability, please refer to the group policy form GPNP12-AX, GPNP13-HI, GPNP16-HI or GPNP12-AX-PASG, or contact MetLife. Benefits are underwritten by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, New York. In certain states, availability of MetLife’s Group Hospital Indemnity Insurance is pending regulatory approval.  Hospital does not include certain facilities such as nursing homes, convalescent care or extended care facilities. See MetLife's Disclosure Statement or Outline of Coverage/Disclosure Document for full details.

METLIFE CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE (CII) IS A LIMITED BENEFIT GROUP INSURANCE POLICY. Like most group accident and health insurance policies, MetLife’s CII policies contain certain exclusions, limitations and terms for keeping them in force. Product features and availability may vary by state. In most plans, there is a pre-existing condition exclusion. In most states, after a covered condition occurs, there is a benefit suspension period during which most plans do not pay recurrence benefits. MetLife offers CII on both an Attained Age and an Issue Age basis. Attained Age rates are based on 5-year age bands and will increase when a Covered Person reaches a new age band. MetLife’s Issue Age CII is guaranteed renewable and may be subject to benefit reductions that begin at age 65. Premium rates for MetLife’s Issue Age CII are based on age at the time of the initial coverage effective date and will not increase due to age; premium rates for increases in coverage, including the addition of dependents’ coverage, if applicable, will be based on the covered person’s age at the time of that increase’s effective date. Rates are subject to change for MetLife’s Issue Age CII on a class-wide basis. A more detailed description of the benefits, limitations, and exclusions applicable to both Attained Age and Issue Age CII can be found in the applicable Disclosure Statement or Outline of Coverage/Disclosure Document available at time of enrollment. For complete details of coverage and availability, please refer to the group policy form GPNP07-CI, GPNP09-CI or GPNP14-CI, or contact MetLife for more information. Benefits are underwritten by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, New York. In New York, availability of MetLife's Issue Age CII product is pending regulatory approval.  MetLife's Critical Illness Insurance is not intended to be a substitute for Medical Coverage providing benefits for medical treatment, including hospital, surgical and medical expenses. MetLife's Critical Illness Insurance does not provide reimbursement for such expenses.

Nothing in these materials is intended to be advice for any particular situation or individual. Like most group life insurance policies, MetLife insurance policies have certain exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits and terms for keeping them in force. Please contact your benefits administrator or MetLife for costs and complete details.

Life coverages are provided under a group insurance policy (Policy Form GPN99 or G2130-S) issued to your employer by MetLife. Life coverages under your employer’s plan terminates when your employment ceases, when your Life contributions cease, or upon termination of the group insurance policy. Dependent Life coverage will terminate when a dependent no longer qualifies as a dependent. Should your life insurance coverage terminate, for reasons other than non-payment of premium, you may convert it to a MetLife individual permanent policy without providing medical evidence of insurability. 

MetLife Group Term Life Insurance is issued by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166 under Policy Form# GPNP99.

Group legal plans provided by MetLife Legal Plans, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. In certain states, group legal plans are provided by Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Warwick, RI. 

Some services not available in all states. No service, including consultations, will be provided for: 1) employment-related matters, including company or statutory benefits; 2) matters involving the employer, MetLife and affiliates and plan attorneys; 3) matters in which there is a conflict of interest between the employee and spouse or dependents in which case services are excluded for the spouse and dependents; 4) appeals and class actions; 5) farm and business matters, including rental issues when the participant is the landlord; 6) patent, trademark and copyright matters; 7) costs and fines; 8) frivolous or unethical matters; 9) matters for which an attorney client relationship exists prior to the participant becoming eligible for plan benefits. For all other personal legal matters, an advice and consultation benefit is provided. Additional representation is also included for certain matters. Please see your plan description for details. MetLife® is a registered trademark of MetLife Services and Solutions, LLC, New York, NY. Please see the plan description for details.