Life-threatening illnesses can come with a massive price tag for treatment. It’s a price tag which could shock many Americans who feel covered by their group health plan. A rising number of people are now insured by high-deductible healthcare plans, and reaching their deductible could be far more than their savings can stretch to meet.

Employees who chose a high-deductible plan may simply be trying to save money, or they could have valid reasons, such as age and risk factors, to believe that a large medical bill is unlikely in the coming year. But even with low risk factors, the possibility of severe illness or debilitating accidents which require costly treatment still exists.

Other employees may be looking at their personal health factors, seeing a rising risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, or other illness, and wondering what they’ll do if a costly hospital stay eats up their life savings. Now that some major group health coverage providers are sunsetting their Covid-19 treatment waivers, another concern is the potential cost of Covid-19 hospitalization.

Offering critical illness insurance gives employees a relatively low-cost way to protect themselves from the event of a catastrophic illness. It generally covers heart attack, stroke, cancers, organ transplants, and other high-cost, high-impact illnesses which require hospitalization, surgery, and potentially long-term care.

Policies have a predetermined list of specific illnesses that are covered. Some insurers are now amending these lists to include Covid-19 and other viruses, according to SHRM.

More than Medical Bills

Critical illness insurance payouts come as a lump sum, cash benefit, meaning it can be used for hospital bills, but all the other things that come up with a severe illness, such as hospice, copays, transportation costs, lost wages, and other unplanned expenses. While health insurance payments are managed out of a patient’s control, critical illness insurance can be used to cover the fall-out from the illness, as well as treatment for the illness itself.

As a voluntary benefit, interest in critical illness insurance is growing. In 2020, respondents to a MetLife survey cited the pandemic as a reason employees are placing more importance on their benefits. Employees reported concerns such as financial security and losing income due to Covid-19, along with rising healthcare costs, as part of their decision to prioritize their benefits.

As your company seeks to provide more comprehensive and desirable coverage to employees, the right benefits administration platform can make all of your new benefit offerings easy to access and manage. Visit WBD’s What We Do page to learn more about how easy your benefits admin can be!

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