Colonial Life has introduced a new group critical illness insurance and cancer plan that helps protect working Americans from the financial exposure that can result from a serious illness, such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. Group Critical Care 1.0 offers an innovative feature that pays an ongoing benefit for the extended treatment of cancer, in addition to the typical lump sum payment made after a diagnosis of cancer or a covered critical illness.
Critical illness coverage provides much-needed protection.
Today, most Americans are ill-prepared to pay for an unexpected medical situation, with 61 percent of workers living paycheck to paycheck 1 and half of all households saying they couldn’t raise $2,000 within a month, if needed. 2 And with the average cost of a critical illness, including lost income, topping nearly $36,000 3, many people worry they’re only one health crisis away from bankruptcy.
Critical illness insurance is designed to supplement major medical coverage by helping pay the direct and indirect costs associated with a specified critical illness or cancer.“Many people assume their major medical insurance will cover everything if they suffer a heart attack or stroke or are diagnosed with cancer,” says Randy Finn, assistant vice president of product development at Colonial Life. “They don’t realize they’re going to have a lot of expenses outside their major medical insurance, including nonmedical expenses, such as home modifications, caregivers, child care, income loss and everyday expenses. Critical illness insurance offers consumers an affordable way to minimize the financial risk associated with a serious illness.” Colonial Life’s new group critical illness and cancer plan offers many important features. Some key features of Colonial Life’s new plan include the following:
- Covers multiple conditions. The plan covers many conditions, such as heart attacks, cancer, strokes, coronary artery disease, major organ failure and transplants. A covered person receives a lump sum payment of $5,000 to $100,000 once they’re diagnosed with any of these conditions. They can spend the money however they need to help with medical and non-medical expenses.
- Pays for multiple occurrences of a critical illness. The plan pays more than once, which means a covered person receives an additional payment each time they’re diagnosed with a covered critical illness. There is no maximum number of payments.
- Pays an ongoing benefit for extended treatment and care of cancer or carcinoma in situ. A covered person can receive monthly benefits of $500 or $1,000 per month to help pay for some of the ongoing expenses associated with cancer, such as radiation, chemotherapy and hospital confinement. Filing a claim for this benefit is easy. The covered person just submits one bill each month in order to receive the benefit.
- Choice of plan designs. Employers can choose from five plans priced at competitive group rates, allowing them to tailor the benefit to suit their budget and their employees’ needs. All five plans offer options that are compliant with health savings accounts (HSAs).
- Health screening benefits. Employers can offer an optional health screening benefit that pays the covered person $50 or $100 a year for participating in one of 24 covered health screening tests. This popular benefit enriches an employer’s benefits package and encourages workers to stay healthy.
- Optional building benefit rider. Individuals can purchase optional coverage that pays $1,000 every year benefits are not used, up to 10 years. A covered person receives this “building benefit” payment in addition to the lump sum payment received when first diagnosed with cancer or a covered critical illness.
- Guaranteed coverage if participation requirements are met. Individuals are guaranteed coverage without answering health questions as long as their company meets minimum participation requirements. They can also purchase coverage for their spouses and eligible dependents without answering health questions.
- Portability. Individuals can continue their coverage if they leave their current place of employment, change jobs or retire.