Voya Financial offers extended pandemic-driven critical illness insurance

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that it has enhanced its critical illness insurance offering to help employers address the evolving health and wealth needs of their employees. The enhancement — which offers new benefit options in the event of a diagnosis of a covered infectious disease and/or resulting hospital stay — comes at a time when concerns about falling ill and incurring unexpected medical costs have come into focus key for American workers.

With Voya research showing that nearly half of Americans (48%) say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them think more carefully about the types of benefits offered by employers.1, many companies have rethought their benefits packages to offer additional voluntary benefits to their employees that go beyond essential workplace benefits—such as medical, dental, and vision. Specifically, industry research shows that while less than a third (32%) of US employers currently offer critical illness insurance to their employees, of those who do not offer this voluntary benefit (68%), more more than two in 10 employers (22%) are interested in offering critical illness insurance in the future.2 This coincides with growing interest from their employees – with nearly half of US employees (47%) who do not currently own critical illness insurance expressing an interest in purchasing this voluntary benefit in the future.3

Voya’s critical illness insurance pays a lump sum benefit upon diagnosis of a covered illness or condition, such as a heart attack, cancer or stroke. This benefit can be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses, as well as household expenses such as rent, utilities or a mortgage. Since the start of the global pandemic, COVID-19 has been covered by the Infectious Disease Benefit option in our critical illness insurance. This option pays a percentage of the critical illness benefit amount, if the insured is diagnosed with an infectious disease that results in a hospital stay for a specified number of consecutive days.

Now, Voya is offering employers the opportunity to include one Infectious Condition Additional Benefit Rider (“Knight”) also. Using a COVID-19 diagnosis, here’s how the new Rider can supplement the existing Infectious Disease Benefit, if employers include both with their critical illness insurance.4 This example also includes the optional Wellness Benefit, which provides an annual benefit for a completed health screening test.

  • The covered employee, John, completes a COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional. Regardless of the results, and because he has not yet used it, he is entitled to his annual wellness benefit. Under the new Rider, when John is diagnosed with COVID-19, he is now eligible for the Diagnosis benefit. When the diagnosis results in hospitalization for at least 20 consecutive hours in an observation unit, or confined as a hospital resident, he then becomes eligible for the hospital isolation benefit. If his hospital stay lasts five or more consecutive days based on his diagnosis, John would then qualify for the Infectious Diseases Benefit.

  • Examples of benefit amounts for this example are as follows5:

    • Health Benefit: $50

    • New Rider – Infectious Condition Diagnosis Benefit: $100

    • New Rider – Infectious Hospital Isolation Benefit: $1,000

    • Infectious Disease Benefit – 25% of John’s $10,000 Critical Illness Insurance Maximum Benefit Amount: $2,500

“A person’s path to recovery from an infectious disease is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Even if an individual is diagnosed and needs to go to the hospital for a relatively short period of time, it can be difficult and likely to have a financial impact,” explained Andrew Frend, senior vice president, product and strategy Health Solutions, Voya Financial. . “Our new rider is designed to complement the critical illness coverage already available and provide additional benefits for covered events that may occur throughout the experience – not just for COVID-19, but for other covered infectious conditions. That way a person can focus on what matters most, which is getting better instead of stressing about the financial costs.”

Given the interest of employers in providing critical illness insurance to their employees, this new Rider offers additional features and flexibility. For example, employers can first choose whether to offer this Rider to their employees and then determine the coverage amounts, which components to include (diagnosis and/or hospitalization) and tailor their list of infectious diseases covered.

“Not only can this new Rider help address the evolving health and financial needs of employees, but it is also another way to help address recruitment and retention needs. A recent Voya survey found that three-quarters of working Americans (74%) agreed that they are more likely to work for an employer that offers voluntary benefits – including those like critical illness, hospital indemnity, income from disability or accident insurance.1,” said Katherine Read, vice president of group insurance product development, Voya Financial. “We know that employees expect more from their employers, and Voya is focused on continuously improving our workplace solutions to help companies deliver value-added benefits that can help them attract and retain employee in today’s competitive job market.”

Voya’s additional insurance solutions – including our new available Critical Illness Insurance Rider – are offered through the workplace as voluntary or employee-elected coverage, which are processed and administered similarly to traditional group insurance. Employers can choose to: fund the plan for their employees; offer it as an option that employees can purchase through their workplace benefits; or create a combination option in which the employer pays part of the benefit and the employee can purchase additional coverage.

As an industry leader focused on providing health, wealth and investment solutions in and through the workplace, Voya Financial is committed to fulfilling its mission to enable a secure financial future for all Americans – a person, one family, one institution at a time.

1) Based on the results of a Voya financial survey conducted January 4-5, 2022, on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,005 adults, with 443 working Americans, aged 18+ in the US

2) MarketVision™ – The Employer’s View© 2020, Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc.

3) MarketVision™ – Employee Viewpoint© 2021, Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc.

4) Infectious Disease Benefit is available as an option under Quality of Life module in Critical Illness Policy. Communicable disease benefits and additional communicable condition benefits are both available for inclusion in an employer’s coverage and are also available individually. Terms and availability may vary by state. The Infectious Condition Additional Benefit Rider is not available in New York.

5) This is given as an example only and assumes 100% of the maximum critical illness benefit availability. Actual results, benefit amounts and policy provisions may vary. A full description of the benefits, limitations, exclusions and termination of coverage will be provided in the certificate of insurance and riders.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company that provides products, solutions and technologies that help Americans plan well, invest well and protect themselves. Serving the needs of 14.3 million individual, workplace and institutional clients, Voya has approximately 6,000 employees and had $707 billion in total assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2022. Certified as a “Great Place to Work ” from Great Place for Work® Voya Institute is purpose driven and equally committed to conducting business in a manner that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the most ethical companies in the world® from the Ethisphere Institute; member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index; and a “The Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” in the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.

Insurance products are issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY). Within New York State, only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is accepted and its products are issued. Both are members of Voya® family of companies. Voya Employee Benefits is a division of both companies. Product availability and specific provisions may vary by country.

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