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9 Ancillary Benefits Helping Charter Schools Retain Top Talent

Choosing to add ancillary benefits offers charter school employees more health and wellness advantages.

Quick look: High-quality teachers provide students with more than basic learning opportunities. It’s time for employee benefits packages to do the same. In this blog, learn how charter schools can ramp up the value of their employee perks with ancillary benefits. Best of all, discover how choosing to offer these additional benefits encourages retention among top-talent teachers.

It’s no secret: exceptional employee benefits attract highly qualified teachers. In today’s market, educators are interested in perks beyond what’s available from standard health and wellness packages. That’s why more charter schools are exploring the advantages of offering ancillary benefits. Keep reading to discover what ancillary benefits are and how they positively impact charter schools’ teacher retention efforts.

What are ancillary benefits?

Ancillary benefits are secondary coverage options employers choose to add to employee benefit packages. They strengthen health plans by unlocking extra medical, vision, and dental insurance services. While traditional employee benefits cover expected needs such as annual doctor visits and other wellness exams, ancillary benefits assist people facing long-term health needs or emergency medical problems.

Nine exceptional ancillary benefits

Though many ancillary benefits exist, here are nine catching teachers’ eyes within the charter school space.

1. Accident insurance

Working with students gives teachers first-hand experience with one truth: accidents happen. This ancillary benefit offers the insured individual and their family extra financial security when an unexpected injury occurs, including spraining an ankle or breaking an arm.

Accident insurance helps pay out-of-pocket expenses like copays, deductibles, and treatments that regular health insurance may not or only partially cover. It can also provide financial assistance for non-medical costs associated with an accident, including lost income due to missed work, travel expenses related to medical appointments, and childcare costs if recovery makes the employee unable to care for their kids.

Benefit use case: Second-grade teacher Mariah’s son, Jason, broke his leg during a soccer game. When their traditional health insurance only covered the cost of the cast, accident insurance helped cover the additional cost of the X-ray and follow-up examination.

2. Hospital indemnity insurance

Staying at a hospital, whether for a planned procedure or extensive surgery, can be stressful. Hospital indemnity insurance is a buffer for educators against added expenses during one’s stay. For example, labor hospitalization can lead to unplanned costs if a child’s delivery exceeds the time covered by their primary medical provider. Hospital indemnity insurance helps cover those associated costs.

This insurance also aids in pre- and post-natal care. If medical complications arise before or after birth, this ancillary benefit provides financial assistance for any costs related to extended stays or additional medical procedures.

Benefit use case: After guidance counselor Amelia gave birth, she contracted a viral infection. She had to stay in the hospital an extra 48 hours to receive antibiotics. Luckily, Amelia’s hospital indemnity insurance covered the additional charges associated with her stay.

3. Critical illness insurance

Those insured under this ancillary benefit gain access to monetary coverage and assistance for medical bills related to critical illnesses. If an educator has breast cancer for example, they may discover their health insurance won’t cover specific cancer treatments or will charge high deductibles and copays. This educator could also experience income loss due to taking an extended leave from work to get and recover from cancer treatments. With critical illness insurance, they can earn a lump sum payment from the insurance provider that can be distributed towards:

  • Deductibles, copays, and treatment costs are not covered by the patient’s initial healthcare provider
  • Daily living expenses like mortgage payments, utility bills, and groceries
  • Transportation costs related to hospital stays or other care unit visits
  • Home aide and childcare to assist the patient during recovery
  • Other trying expenses that harm their ability to function

Benefit use case: When Fred, a fifth-grade science teacher, suffered from a stroke, he had to take three weeks off work. His critical illness insurance helped him cover his mortgage payment for the month and the medical bills he received for his treatment.

4. Disability insurance

Disabilities caused by an accident or sickness can fully interrupt an employee’s ability to work. In some cases, employees require long or routine periods of leave to receive specialty exams or treatment for their disability. Extensive leaves can cause disabled individuals to face income losses. This setback can cause significant financial anguish, especially since households with work-disabled adults need 28% more income on average than households without disabled members.

Disability insurance protects policyholders from monetary issues on either a short-term or long-term basis. Insured parties can receive payments through their insurance plan that can be used to cover expensive medical bills and other everyday expenses. This coverage is broken down into short-term disability and long-term disability.

Benefit use case: Ronald, a charter school Operations Director, received a significant leg injury from a car accident. He went on a 45-day leave to focus on his surgical recovery and physical therapy. During this time, his disability insurance helped him cover his medical treatments.

5. Life insurance

The loss of a person takes an emotional toll on the loved ones left behind. During this time, families want to spend time coping with their grief rather than be distracted by pricey responsibilities. Life insurance assists beneficiaries of the insured by providing a designated payment to them upon the insured party’s passing. The money given by the insurance company can then be used to cover expenses related to the death and funeral. The beneficiary can also use this compensation to take care of other pressing household and other owed bills.

Benefits use case: When Ella passed away, her daughter Kimberly was able to cover the burial costs and estate expenses with the money included in Ella’s life insurance policy.

6. Wellness benefit coverage

Everyone has a unique medical history. In addition to annual routine examinations, some people need to undergo health screenings to identify or monitor diseases and disorders related to their personal care needs. Wellness benefit coverage is an ancillary option that helps pay for preventative care and diagnostic procedures such as:

  • Annual physical exams
  • Eye exams
  • Mammograms
  • Pap smears
  • Immunizations
  • Blood screenings
  • Ultrasounds
  • PSA tests

Certain insurance companies, like Aflac, group this coverage with their hospital indemnity and accident insurances. Other providers offer it as a separate ancillary benefit.

Benefits use case: Isaac the chemistry teacher had a CBC test done to monitor his iron deficiency anemia. His wellness benefit helped cover the procedure costs from the healthcare clinic.

7. Parental assistance

Parental assistance is an ancillary benefit that helps educators and their families navigate this period and kickstart post-birth care. For example, 83.1% of American infants are breastfed for at least a short time. Despite its popularity, mothers can feel anxious about breastfeeding, especially if they are a first-time parent. Employers can invest in ancillary benefits providers that connect these moms to trusted maternal experts who offer nursing and breast pumping advice. Certain companies like Pumpspotting even host a mobile app that allows mothers to track their baby’s feeding journey, set pumping and nursing goals, and access a community of mothers that provides emotional support.

Benefits use case: Through her parental assistance benefit, Natalie, a kindergarten teacher, gained advice from a lactation consultant while she had latching issues with her newborn.

8. Tuition assistance

Student loans affect millions of working professionals in the United States. While federal loan borrowers have an average debt of $37,338, private student loan borrowers face an average debt of $54,921. Though these loans are a long-term responsibility, tuition assistance makes navigating the repayment process easier. This ancillary benefit allows educators to create and execute student loan repaymentstrategies. Certain tuition assistance providers like also offer loan calculation tools, enabling employees to evaluate tuition costs and be more financially prepared if they return to school.

Benefits use case: Aaron, a teaching aid, uses the tuition assistance tools supplied by his employer to properly outline a student loan repayment plan enables him to budget in his repayments and other obligations.

9. Pet insurance

Humans aren’t the only household dependents needing good healthcare. Educators can rely on pet insurance to ease the financial burden accompanying traditional veterinary care, including routine checkups, medication refills, and specific scans. It can lower bill costs for emergency procedures such as surgeries or allergic reaction treatments.

Benefits use case: Enrollment Director Warren’s pit bull terrier, Max, got a bad ear infection. His pet insurance plan paid for his dog’s initial veterinary treatment and prescribed medication.

How do ancillary benefits boost teacher retention?

Employer-provided benefits continue to be a leading decision factor for teachers. Just as they want to nurture students’ well-being, educators expect the same care from their employers. Robust employee benefits packages help charter schools demonstrate their interest in teaching staff’s health inside and outside the classroom. Charter schools can minimize teachers’ mental stress while experiencing unexpected medical issues or personal expenses by choosing to offer ancillary benefits.

These perks give educators peace of mind, allowing them to invest more time and energy into their students’ academic journeys. Plus, the advantages of ancillary benefits increase teachers’ job satisfaction and loyalty towards their employer. This outcome enables charter schools to retain more of their most engaged, high-performing educators.

Tap into ExtensisHR’s ancillary benefit network

As a certified professional employer organization (PEO), ExtensisHR works with many high-end providers to offer impactful ancillary benefits that provide financial and health assistance. Charter school partners who choose to invest in these services gain access to solutions including, but not limited to:

  • Aflac group accident, hospital indemnity, critical illness, and disability insurance plans
  • Life and AD&D insurance, as well as short-term and long-term disability plans, from The Standard
  • Pet insurance plans from Pets Best and Nationwide’s My Pet Protection®
  • io student loan planning and repayment management
  • Breastfeeding and nursing assistance through Pumpspotting (included for all charter schools)

ExtensisHR also provides robust HR support for charter schools across employee operations. From improving payroll processes to overseeing risk management needs, our PEO solution offloads administrative paperwork and amplifies the efficiency of a school’s human resource management.

Under the guidance and expertise of ExtensisHR, charter schools can offer better wellness plans that improve retention rates among the talented teachers influencing the young minds of tomorrow.

Ready to invest in the ancillary benefits talented teachers deserve? Schedule a meeting with our team to start revolutionizing your benefits offerings today.

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