AlwaysCare Benefits Inc. has started marketing group critical illness and accident insurance plans.

AlwaysCare, an affiliate of Starmount Life Insurance Company, Baton Rouge, La., says both products pay lump-sum benefits if the insured receives a specified diagnosis.

The products are underwritten by National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Madison, Wis.

The group critical illness plan pays in event of diagnosis of a critical illness such as heart attack, stroke, major organ transplants and cancer, AlwaysCare says. The plan also includes a recurrence benefit, which pays if the insured is re-diagnosed later with the same illness, and an additional benefit for insureds who are diagnosed with a different critical illness.

The group accident plan pays benefits upon accident-related medical diagnoses such as dislocations, fractures, concussions, burns and other specific injuries, as well as upon accidental death and dismemberment. The plan also pays benefits for accident-related hospitalization and transportation, the company says.

Both insurance plans include a health advocacy program and an additional hearing savings plan. These features are built in at no additional cost to the insured, the company says.

AlwaysCare can sell the products on an employer-paid or voluntary, employee-paid basis.

AlwaysCare is positioning the plans as products that can help employees “offset some of the increasing financial burden of serious illnesses and injuries,” AlwaysCare President Erich Sternberg says. The plans are available for broker and agent distribution in some states.