The Rise of Critical Illness Insurance

Along with the growth in enrollment of high-deductible health plans has come growth in voluntary insurance coverages to provide a “financial backstop” in the event of catastrophic claims. This article in EBN discusses industry data indicating that sales of critical illness (CI) insurance overtook cancer insurance last year for the first time ever. Mercer’s Tim Weber comments in this article that he has seen a significant uptick in CI offerings that Mercer has handled on behalf of corporate clients. In many cases, “a significant portion” of those plans include transitioning to CI from cancer coverage. Cancer insurance sales historically targeted individuals with a family history of cancer, while CI policies can be positioned as a safety net for the unknown.  When offered in conjunction with a high-deductible plan, a product with a broader focus may be appropriate. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for cancer coverage as well.  To get the most out of these offerings, employers should also consider providing education and decision support tools so that employees understand exactly what their options are.

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Tracy Watts
by Tracy Watts

Senior Partner, National Leader for U.S. Health Policy

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