NU Online News Service, April 2, 7:01 p.m. – Principal Life Insurance Company, Des Moines, Iowa, a unit of the Principal Financial Group Inc., is introducing a new payment option that gives purchasers of insured employee health plans a financial incentive to hold down claims.

The option, the Minimum Premium Funding option, lets an employer pay part of its usual monthly group health insurance premium, then deposit cash for incurred claims in a bank acount. Principal says it will take cash from the bank account when, and only when, claims occur.

Employers that succeed at controlling claims may end up with extra cash in the account at the end of the year. Employers that fear they might have trouble controlling claims can set individual, monthly and annual caps on their liability.