Unum debuts updated hospital insurance benefit

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Unum, a finance and insurance products provider, has updated its hospital insurance offerings with new features that include coverage for mental-health treatment, routine check-ups for infants and more care options at different price points and coverage levels.

“Health insurance is the most highly valued and commonly offered employee insurance benefit. [But] even the best health insurance won’t cover all your out-of-pocket costs,” says Katy Whittle, product manager at Unum.

That’s where hospital insurance can help fill the gaps.

“Hospital insurance is supplemental health coverage that provides a lump sum benefit during a qualifying hospital stay, and on some plans, outpatient surgery and diagnostic procedures,” Whittle says.

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Employers can offer the coverage to employees where an employer pays a portion or the employee pays for the benefit, or as a combination of both. It’s offered on the same administrative platform as Unum’s other group benefits — like disability and life insurance — for streamlined onboarding, billing and management for plan administrators.

“The coverage helps companies manage the financial exposure of their employees as health care costs rise and more gaps in traditional health insurance emerge,” Whittle says. “Hospital insurance can give employees additional peace of mind, especially during today’s pandemic when hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are hitting record highs. Medical insurance is important, but it may not cover all the expenses related to the pandemic.”

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Hospital insurance is just one area employees are taking advantage of in their benefits packages. Because of the pandemic, one in three workers plan to enroll in benefits they haven’t utilized previously, according to research from Unum. Additionally, 64% of employees plan to pay more attention to their employee benefits and spend more time reviewing and understanding them.

Workers also plan to enroll for the first time or increase their coverage in life insurance (27%), hospital insurance (14%), short- and long-term disability insurance (12%) and critical illness coverage (12%), according to Unum.

“Workers are historically underprepared financially for an unexpected health event, and the pandemic caused additional financial pressure for workers. Many employees are not prepared to take on the level of expenses that come with hospitalizations,” Whittle says. “Hospital insurance is an important part of the solution, alongside major medical insurance.”

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