The mid-term congressional election is less than two months away and some observers wonder whether the event will be all about nothing.
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company said its newest cancer insurance plan pays one of the highest initial diagnosis benefits in the industry and addresses many advances in treatment and prevention.
The company said its new voluntary, individual, indemnity-based insurance plan supplements major medical coverage by helping pay the direct and indirect costs associated with cancer. The plan offers four different levels of coverage with premiums and benefit amounts designed to meet a variety of budgets and coverage needs.
"The American Cancer Society says cancer diagnoses are expected to reach 1.7 million this year," says Randy Finn, assistant vice president of product development at Colonial Life. "Most of America's workers aren't prepared for the high cost of a cancer diagnosis. Cancer insurance helps employees pay for the expenses their medical insurance doesn't cover such as loss of income, deductibles and co-pays, child care and out-of-network treatment."
According to a release, Colonial Life's cancer insurance plan helps provide financial protection from the costs associated with cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The coverage includes more than 30 benefits such as:
-Family care benefit. Pays a daily amount when a covered dependent child receives inpatient or outpatient cancer treatment. Plans cover individuals, spouses, one-parent and two-parent families.
-Wellness/health screenings. Employers have the option to choose between two benefits that pay for tests and screenings that encourage early detection of cancer.
-Hospital confinement. Individuals can choose different levels of coverage that pay a benefit for hospital stays of various durations.
-Cancer treatment. The plan pays benefits for surgery, anesthesia, radiation, chemotherapy, anti-nausea medication, surgical procedures, private full-time nursing services, experimental treatments, reconstructive surgery, prostheses, bone marrow donor screening and other treatments for cancer.
-Transportation and lodging benefits. The plan pays a benefit for transportation to treatment and lodging for the covered individual and a companion.
-Home health care services and hospice care. The plan pays a benefit for physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, as well as appliances and durable medical equipment. In addition, it pays a $15,000 maximum lifetime benefit for hospice care.
-Cancer vaccine. The plan pays a benefit for a vaccine for cancer prevention.
-Fertility services. The plan pays for egg extraction or harvesting and sperm collection and storage for covered policyholders diagnosed with cancer.
Employees can choose to enhance their coverage with three optional riders:
-Initial Diagnosis of Cancer Rider. This rider pays a one-time benefit in $1,000 increments from $1,000 and $10,000 when a covered person is first diagnosed with cancer. If employees purchase this coverage for their dependent children, they receive two and a half times the chosen benefit amount ($2,500 to $25,000) if their covered child is diagnosed with cancer.
-Initial Diagnosis of Cancer Progressive Payment Rider. This rider pays a $50 lump sum payment to the policyholder for each month the rider has been in force, after the waiting period, once cancer is first diagnosed.
-Specified Disease Hospital Confinement Rider. This rider pays $300 a day if a policyholder is confined to a hospital for treatment of one of 34 specified diseases covered such as muscular dystrophy, Lyme disease and sickle cell anemia.
Voluntary cancer coverage offers many advantages for employers.Colonial Life's cancer insurance plan offers many advantages for employers.
-Available to the smallest of employers. The plan is available to businesses with three or more eligible employees.
-Covers a broad range of ages. The plan is available to individuals from ages 17 to 75.
-Portability. Individuals can continue their coverage if they leave their current place of employment, change jobs or retire.
-HSA compliant. Because Colonial Life's cancer plan is compatible with health savings accounts, employers can offer this coverage to their employees who have HSAs.
-No coordination of coverage. Benefits from the cancer plan are payable regardless of any other insurance an employee has with other companies. Employees can use the money they receive to pay for the direct costs of cancer and other indirect expenses such as loss of income, deductibles and co-pays, child care and out-of-network treatment.
((Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected]))