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5 New Policies for People With Bodies

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Fights in Washington continue to rattle the U.S. major medical insurance market.

Low interest rates and tough new accounting rules continue to plague the life insurance and annuity markets.

Non-medical health insurance products continue to be the products that please the insurers’ chief financial officers as much as they please the sales and marketing times. Workers, and employers want to hear about the products, and insurers can write the products without causing securities and rating analysts to give them dirty looks.

(Related: Employers Want to Hear About ‘Interesting New Benefits’: Principal Executive)

Here are five examples of new products that have been rolled out with much fanfare in the past few months.

1. Standard: Individual Disability Insurance

Standard Insurance Company, and The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York, have two new individual disability insurance products aimed at a big, lucrative niche market: highly paid people in New York and Connecticut.

The policy is guaranteed renewable. It offers an automatic increase rider and a benefit increase rider.

The Platinum Advantage policy also offers purchasers access to a residual disability rider, a noncancelable policy rider, an own-occupation rider, an indexed cost-of-living rider and a catastrophic disability benefit rider.

The Platinum Advantage GSI product, which is aimed at employers wanting to offer benefits designed for highly paid employees, offers access to a choice of residual disability riders, a regular occupation definition-of-disability rider, an own-occupation rider, a catastrophic disability benefit rider, and an indexed cost-of-living rider.

2. Standard Insurance: Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Standard has also added another non-medical health benefit: the Hospital Indemnity Plus hospital indemnity insurance policy.

Standard designed the policy for hospital-based health care systems.

The policy pays cash benefits to insureds who are confined to a hospital, are admitted to a hospital, are confined to a critical care unit, or are admitted to a critical care unit.

Workers with the coverage get a 20% higher benefit if they stay in their employers’ hospitals, rather than going to hospitals not affiliated with their employers.

Workers who want to contribute to health savings accounts (HSAs) must have high-deductible major medical coverage that meets HSA program rules. Workers with HSAs can use the Standard indemnity coverage without breaking the HSA program rules.

3. MGIS: High-Limits Disability Insurance

MGIS, an insurance program manager, has developed a new, high-limits disability insurance policy aimed at group practice physicians.

The Salt Lake City-based company arranged for backing for the product from Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s.

MGIS is offering the product throughout the United States.

MGIS also offers disability insurance arrangements for physicians that are backed by units of Sun Life Financial.

4. Voya Financial Inc: Critical Illness Insurance

Voya Financial Inc. has updated its voluntary critical illness insurance product.

The Compass Critical Illness Insurance program offers more benefits, and coverage against more conditions, Voya says.

The Minneapolis-based company continues to offer the product without use of health questions. A portability feature lets workers keep the coverage when they leave the employer.

An employer can set up the program in such a way that insured workers who participate in wellness programs can get annual benefit amount increases..

An employer can also add a Compass Care Package benefit. The benefit provides extra counseling and support for workers who end up using the critical illness insurance benefits.

An employer can offer the program as an employer-paid benefit, as an employee-paid benefit, or through an arrangement in which the employer pays for some coverage and the employees choose whether to pay for more coverage.

5. Colonial Life: Voluntary Group Accident Insurance

Colonial Life has added an updated version of its voluntary group accident insurance plan.

The update increased the benefits payable by an average of 37%, with no increase in premiums, Colonial Life says.

The coverage is offered on a guaranteed-issue basis.

Employers can choose from a menu of four different richness levels.

Options include a health screening benefit and a hospital confinement benefit.

Colonial Life is a Columbia, South Carolina-based unit of Unum Group.

— Read  Peeks Through the Voluntary Benefits Curtainson ThinkAdvisor.

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