New plans for Hospital Indemnity Protection aimed at offering a cash benefit in order to assist employees fund out-of-pocket medical costs as well as meet their financial obligations after a stay in hospital have been introduced by UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) across the country. The plans, which are now being offered in 45 states, provide employers not just with flexibility but their employees and their family members benefit from financial protection.
With hospital indemnity coverage employees are offered crucial financial support after a stay in hospital in both non-emergency and emergency situations. After a visit to a hospital, participants of the plan get a lump sum payout that starts at $700 to $5,000 and above. These lump sum payments can be utilized for any purpose including paying medical bills, meeting deductibles and covering daily living expenses.
“These new plans are an important resource for employees and their family members, especially the almost two-thirds of the workforce with less than $1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket expenses related to an unexpected, serious illness or emergency,” said the chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits, Tom Wiffler.
Per the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a hospital stay costs an average of more than $11,000 and this includes ambulance transportation. An increasing number of employers are providing ancillary benefit plans and this includes hospital indemnity coverage so that their employees can enjoy financial certainty.
Studies show that by offering ancillary benefits, there is an improvement in the bottom lines of companies since there is increased employee engagement and productivity. Ancillary benefits also help in attracting and retaining employees besides improving morale.
The introduction of the new plans by UnitedHealthcare coincides with the health insurer announcing plans to lay off 381 employees in Phoenix, Arizona after losing out on a federal contract to offer healthcare coverage to military families. According to UnitedHealthcare the employees who will be affected include the ones who offer support to the Tricare contract for veterans, military personnel in active duty as well as their families.
On Wednesday shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc fell by 0.33% to close the day at $209.53.