A unit of Sun Life Financial Inc. says it plans to respond to the new federal Affordable Care Act by providing unlimited lifetime maximums for stop-loss policies effective on and after Oct. 1.

The Wellesley Hills, Mass., employee benefits group division of Sun Life, Toronto (NYSE:SLF), appears to be the second carrier to announce the availability of stop-loss protection with unlimited lifetime maximums.

Independence Holding Company, Stamford, Conn. (NYSE:IHC), said earlier this month that it would be offering stop-loss with unlimited lifetime maximums.

HCC Life Insurance Company, Kennesaw, Ga., part of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc., Houston (NYSE:HCC), says in a note to customers that it is waiting to see how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implements the ACA annual and lifetime maximum provisions before estimating how much the shift will cost.

Employers that fund their own employee health benefit plans use stop-loss policies to protect themselves against catastrophic risk.

ACA — the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act — will ban use of lifetime health benefits maximums and ban or sharply restrict use of annual maximums starting Sept. 23.

Scott Beliveau, a vice president in the Sun Life benefits group division, says the company sees providing unlimited lifetime maximums as an example of the company’s efforts to be a leader in the stop-loss market.

“We anticipate offering additional protections for our customers in relation to the new health care laws,” Beliveau says in a statement about the lifetime maximum move.