On July the 17th, Securian Financial Group revealed information about their recent insurance related survey. The results confirmed that Americans, who have insurance through their employers, are still struggling with out-of-pocket costs. Securian Financial Group is a leading provider of supplement group insurance products. Their recent survey revealed that approximately four in ten workers with employer-sponsored health plans experienced or knew someone experiencing financial difficulty due to medical bills.

The numbers were staggering among Millennials. Among this age group, more than half with an employer health plan were struggling or knew someone struggling to pay their medical bills. The company went on to explain that aid for dealing with unexpected medical expenses were available, but many Americans were simply unaware of this assistance. Only 44 percent of Americans with employer-supported health plans were aware that many employers also offer access to supplemental group insurance options, which can help pay for excessive out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Director with Securian, Elias Vogen, admitted that supplemental group insurance products were now a necessity, due to the rising costs of health care. “The rising cost of health care has driven many employers to offer supplemental group insurance products, often in conjunction with a Health Savings Account.” Vogen went on to stress the point that the combination could be cost-effective for the employer and the employee.

Supplemental group insurance is commonly referred to as “voluntary benefits”, because the employee is normally responsible for paying the entire premium at a discounted group rate. The benefits from such assistance are paid out in a lump sum and can help to cover a variety of expenses and not just out-of-pocket medical costs. The survey revealed that 42% were worried about facing a debilitating injury or hospitalization. 58% admitted their top concern would be the lost wages and the ability to pay for life’s necessities.

The survey also showed that 28% of employees with health insurance would likely pay for out-of-pocket expenses of $5,000 or more with their personal savings rather than a Health Savings Account or supplemental group insurance. 21% of the participants admitted they did not know how they would pay, while 12% confessed they would rely on credit cards.

Securian’s survey was conducted online in conjunction with KRC Research. 1,010 participants answered the initial screener questions, while 573 respondents, who had a health insurance plan through their employer, completed the rest of the survey. The results of the survey have been made available online. They can be found here.