Group accident and enhanced group critical illness help address
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 28, 2012--
New group accident coverage and an enhanced group critical illness
product from Unum (NYSE:UNM) offer employers and their employees new
options for addressing the growing costs of health care.
More than a decade of year-over-year increases in health insurance costs
has propelled businesses to make significant adjustments in their
benefits strategies. A leading trend includes shifting more benefit
costs and decision-making to employees.
“A growing number of employers are adopting high-deductible,
consumer-directed health plans,” said Mary Ann Beliveau, assistant vice
president, product and market development at Unum. “Although this can
lower costs and give employees a greater role in selecting the coverage
that’s right for them, it can also leave them exposed to higher
out-of-pocket expenses for deductibles as well as for expenses that may
fall outside traditional health insurance coverage.”
Unum’s new supplemental health offerings go hand-in-hand with
high-deductible health care plans because they help offset the impact of
out-of-pocket expenses employees can face. And that’s particularly
important now, when 42 percent of American workers say they live
paycheck to paycheck.i
Accident insurance offers lump sum benefits for a broad range of
accidental injuries, from sports-related to catastrophic events. Benefit
levels vary according to the injury, and typically include benefits for
emergency room treatment, hospitalization, ambulance, and follow-up
treatment. Wellness options that pay a benefit for some preventive
screenings can encourage healthy choices that can lead to better
outcomes and lower health care costs.
Unum’s group accident plan brings something new to the market: multiple
benefit level choices, including the ability to tailor or eliminate up
to 12 benefit amounts. This can help employers meet their health plan
objectives and their employees’ needs.
The market for critical illness insurance has grown significantly in
recent years. New coverage sales doubled between 2007 and 2010,
according to a recent Eastbridge study.ii
As more people survive serious health conditions including cancer, heart
attacks and stroke, the costs for surviving can be high, even for those
with medical insurance.
Unum’s critical illness policy typically pays 100 percent of the benefit
amount for 10 conditions such as heart attack, stroke, major organ
transplant or failure, end-stage kidney failure, and permanent paralysis
resulting from an accident. Coverage for children is included in all
policies at no additional cost for conditions such as cleft lip or
palate, Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis. Cancer coverage is available
as well. As with the new accident plan, enhanced group critical illness
coverage includes a wellness benefit.
“Higher deductibles and co-pays, and increasing costs of treatment can
drain a bank account or stress credit accounts that are already maxed
out,” Beliveau said. “These new products offered through the workplace
can be key components in ensuring employees have the financial
protection benefits they need to help guard against financial strain.”
Unum’s internal data underscores the significant financial protection
these products can provide. In the past five years, Unum has approved
more than 6,000 critical illness claims and paid about $70 million in
critical illness benefits. Over the same period, Unum approved more than
56,000 accident claims and paid $40 million in benefits.
Group accident not available in CO, NH, NY, MN, VT; eGCI not available
in FL, NH, NJ, NY, WA.
Enhanced specified disease insurance is
offered in NC.
is one of the leading providers of employee benefits products and
services in the United States and the United Kingdom.
i CareerBuilder.com, nationwide survey of more than 5,200
workers, August, 2011
ii Eastbridge Consulting Group, “U.S. Worksite Sales Report,”
MC Guenther 423-294-6108
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