As critical illness policies become more popular, carriers are tweaking the structure and delivery of the products to meet both employer and employee needs, particularly as the new health care law facilitates the greater use of high-deductible plans.
Sales tactics also are evolving, not only for group and worksite plans, but for individual plans for the self-employed, very small businesses and even as an adjunct for additional homeowner protection.
An increasing number of employers want to make sure as many of their employees as possible have access to critical illness plans, so more are seeking “guaranteed-issue” plans for certain levels of employee participation, says John Harmeling, senior vice president of worksite marketing at Aflac in Columbus, Ga.
Some employers are even agreeing to pay for part or all of the premiums, which average about $180 a year for MetLife’s group critical illness insurance, Anatole says.
Employees want to be equipped financially so that all of these expenses don’t drain their retirement savings, particularly as life expectancy is longer and more people are living longer after a critical illness event, Traynor says.
“So we educate workers about how critical illness policies can help prevent draining their savings,” he says. “That’s a good selling tip, and an important point to cover in enrollment meetings.”