MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ING U.S. has launched two new products designed for a changing employee benefits landscape with a focus on simplicity and flexibility. The Compass Accident and Critical Illness Insurance product suite brings a fresh approach to "voluntary" or employee selected insurance benefit programs. These are defined benefit policies that provide fixed payments for covered diagnoses even if the expenses of the accident or illness are covered by the employer's medical plan.
In today's workplace, voluntary benefits are gaining ground as employers experience rising health care costs and a move to high deductible health care plans. ING U.S.'s new accident and critical illness products can provide benefits not met by an employee's standard medical coverage.
"We have taken a step out in front of the industry and delivered a solution that brings a new and cutting-edge approach to voluntary insurance coverage," said Heather Lavallee, president of employee benefits distribution. "In essence, our Compass product suite treats voluntary like a group offering, making the process and administration much simpler for employees, employers and financial professionals. With Compass, we've also introduced a framework that lets employers mix and match different plan options to create the ideal package for their workforce."
Voluntary benefits are growing in appeal. A 2011 LIMRA study on voluntary worksite benefits found that 57 percent of U.S. employers offer voluntary benefits and 30 percent said they are considering adding a new voluntary option within the next two years. 1Yet, there are still hurdles to overcome. According to ING U.S.'s 2012 Insurance Revealed study 2, employees are not very familiar with these products; among the employed respondents, only one-third (32 percent) were familiar with critical illness and less than half (47 percent) with accident. In addition, the study found that only 13 percent of employed respondents had purchased critical illness coverage and one-quarter purchased accident coverage. Compass Accident Insurance gives an employer the option of five different benefit levels to offer its employees. Compass Critical Illness Insurance is structured in a module fashion, so employers can mix and match different groupings of covered conditions in designing their plan. Both products offer a variety of optional benefits such as wellness tests, and also spouse/domestic partner and children coverage. As benefits enrollment season approaches, many employers are exploring new options for their voluntary benefits package. The Compass Accident and Critical Illness Insurance product suite is designed to bring a new approach to this evolving market, with an eye towards simplicity and flexibility. For more information on the Compass product suite, please call ING U.S. Employee Benefits at 866-566-2316. About INGING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance operations of Netherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING). In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, including retirement plans, IRA rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management, mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits, fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning. ING U.S. holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 13 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit http://ing.us. ING U.S. Employee Benefits has more than 60 years of experience in the voluntary benefits business. Voluntary benefits are benefits offered at the workplace and elected and paid for by employees. ING U.S. Employee Benefits' voluntary products include accident, critical illness, whole life, universal life, and disability income insurance. Insurance products are issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company ( Minneapolis, MN) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York ( Woodbury, NY). Within the State of New York, only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted, and its products issued. Both are members of the ING family of companies. Product availability and provisions may vary by state. 1 LIMRA, 2011 Voluntary Worksite Benefits: Penetration and Market Potential study 2 Findings are from an online survey conducted by Praxis Research Partners in July 2012. Respondents were 1,006 adults, of whom 887 were employed, over the age of 25 with an annual household income of $50,000 or greater. Data were weighted to make the results representative of the U.S. population. SOURCE ING
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