A Midwestern company says a new product should reduce the cost of protecting workers against catastrophic illnesses.

The voluntary benefits unit of Trustmark Mutual Holding Company, Lake Forest, Ill., has unveiled a family of group critical illness plans to complement its existing worksite critical illness plans.

Buying CI coverage on an employer-paid group basis is often much cheaper than coverage that is entirely employee-paid, Trustmark says.

The Trustmark group CI program includes plan designs that give employers the ability to pay for base coverage and give employees the ability to buy additional coverage.

The program offers guaranteed issue underwriting, and a double benefit feature ensures that insureds who suffer from 2 separate critical illnesses can collect 2 separate benefits checks, Trustmark says.