Car­ri­ers bulk up ac­ci­dent plans

Employee Benefit News - - CONTENTS - BY BRIAN KALISH

New cov­er­ages, such as fol­low-up care, have more em­ploy­ers of­fer­ing to pay for the prod­uct.

Ac­ci­dent in­sur­ance prod­ucts are ex­pand­ing with ad­di­tional cover­age and richer ben­e­fit lev­els.

In the last year, car­ri­ers have started to ex­pand pre­vi­ously lim­ited cover­age to in­clude emer­gency care, hos­pi­tal­iza­tions, frac­tures and fol­low-up care, ex­plains Jim Boy­man, pres­i­dent of en­ter­prise vol­un­tary at Cigna in Hart­ford, Conn.

Some are also adding en­hanced ben­e­fits, such as travel cover­age or gun­shot pro­tec­tion.

The in­no­va­tion is com­ing as a re­sult of in­creased com­pe­ti­tion, with only so much car­ri­ers can do to make their ac­ci­dent plan stand out, says Doug Kreszl, vice pres­i­dent of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Na­tional Ben­e­fit Part­ners, a Paoli, Penn.-based in­de­pen­dent mar­ket­ing firm.

“[Car­ri­ers] are try­ing to say, ‘How can we en­hance what we de­liver and at­tract more peo­ple to buy an ac­ci­dent plan?’” Kreszl says.

“Not every­one is in­ter­ested in the same ben­e­fit be­cause every­one has a dif­fer­ent life­style. If you throw in a [new cover­age], some­one who didn’t have ac­ci­dent in­sur­ance in the past may now buy it. ’”

With the in­creased cover­age, the prod­uct has seen con­tin­ual growth. In the past three years that Cigna has of­fered ac­ci­dent, the firm has dou­bled sales ev­ery year and con­tin­ues to see that tra­jec­tory to­day, Boy­man ex­plains.

In ad­di­tion to the move to high-de­ductible plans lead­ing to the growth, the other big trend is ac­ci­dent in­sur­ance en­roll­ment be­ing in­te­grated with core ben­e­fits en­roll­ment, Boy­man says.

“It’s be­ing viewed more as a tra­di­tional prod­uct and loaded onto a ben­e­fit en­roll­ment plat­form,” he ex­plains. “It is se­quenced dif­fer­ently [and] the prod­ucts are be- ing seen as com­ple­men­tary to med­i­cal cover­age, which helps pro­vide that ad­di­tional fi­nan­cial pro­tec­tion.”

The in­creased de­mand has led to some down­ward pres­sure on the prod­uct’s pric­ing and, in some cases, em­ploy­ers pay­ing for the cover­age, which was tra­di­tion­ally ex­clu­sively em­ployee-paid, Boy­man says.

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