NU Online News Service, June 13, 3:32 p.m. – Jefferson Pilot Benefit Partners, Omaha, Neb., a unit of Jefferson-Pilot Corp., Greensboro, N.C., has introduced a critical illness insurance product, the Critical Assistance Recovery Enhancement feature.

Jefferson Pilot is offering critical illness coverage as an option for purchasers of its group and voluntary long-term disability insurance.

The CARE feature provides lump-sum cash benefits for employees who survive for a minimum amount of time with a specified critical condition. The critical conditions covered are heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, life-threatening cancer and major organ transplants.

Insureds can use the cash payments however they want, without any restrictions, Jefferson Pilot says.

Jefferson Pilot appears to be the first insurer that is offering an LTD critical illness enhancement that is not contingent upon the insured being disabled and satisfying an LTD elimination period, the company says.

The maximum CARE benefit that employers can offer is $25,000, or up to 12 times the employee’s gross monthly LTD benefit.