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Filling the Gap - Critical Illness and Accident Policies

Filling the Gap of a High Deductible Health Plan:  Critical Illness and Accident Policies

Murphy’s Law?  “Bob,” a long-time employee and his family are relatively healthy – they visit the doctor for routine preventive care and maybe a few sick visits per year.  When open enrollment comes along, Bob opts for the High Deductible Health Plan.  Within the first two months he is diagnosed with cancer.  The costs pile up: doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy, time away from work. Thankfully, after months of treatment, he is declared cancer free.  However, what happens when the bills roll in?

A growing percentage of the workforce is looking for ways to fill the gaps in their employer-sponsored medical plans. These out-of-pocket expenses can range from deductibles to coinsurance and copayments. To help their employees with these expenses, many employers are now offering voluntary policies, such as Critical Illness and Accident Insurance, to supplement their employees’ health insurance coverage.   

In this example,  Bob  was enrolled in a Critical Illness policy, so his diagnosis would result in a tax-free, lump sum payment directly to him. This benefit could pay for Bob’s medical deductible, copayments for doctor visits, and much more. He can pay his mortgage or buy groceries using funds he wouldn’t have access to otherwise, during a time when he may not work. While the news of someone being diagnosed with a critical illness is never a good thing, the peace of mind someone has knowing they have a source of funds allows them to concentrate on what’s most important – their health. 

Similarly, a group accident policy can benefit your employees (and their families) by providing payments for medical expenses when a covered accident occurs. An employee’s child breaks their leg sliding into 2nd base. An accident policy would pay a scheduled amount for the child’s ambulance ride, x-ray, medications, and doctor visits, and your employee will suffer no economic hardship because of his injury.

Critical Illness and Accident policies work well with group health insurance plans, especially as high deductible plans continue to become more commonplace. 

Based on MetLife’s US Employee Benefit Trends Study, 47% of Millennials are very concerned about having enough money to cover out-of-pocket medical costs not covered by their health insurance.  That number climbs to 50% for Gen-Xer’s and 53% for Boomers. 

Contact me today to learn more.

Richard Godshaw,VBS
Vice President – Group Benefits Division

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