Consumers looking for stronger protection against out-of-pocket medical and nonmedical costs can now take advantage of a new hospital confinement indemnity plan from Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.
Individual Medical Bridge is a hospital confinement indemnity insurance plan that helps America’s workers and their families pay expenses not covered by major medical coverage, including deductibles, co-payments, coinsurance and other out-of-pocket medical and nonmedical costs.
The plan provides benefits for hospitalization, outpatient surgery, diagnostic tests, doctor’s office visits, emergency room visits, ambulance transportation and other expenses due to a covered accident or covered sickness.
"Many employers are looking for solutions to help offset rising health insurance costs while still providing a competitive benefits package for their employees," said Steve Hesler, assistant vice president for products at Colonial Life.
"They’re shifting more of the costs to employees in the form of higher deductibles and co-payments. Individual Medical Bridge is an affordable solution for employees to create a safety net and protect themselves from this greater financial exposure."
Colonial Life’s new Individual Medical Bridge plan offers enhanced coverage, including:
Hospital confinement benefit levels up to $5,000.
Outpatient surgery benefit.
New medical treatment package to provide additional coverage for common services including doctor’s office visit, emergency room visit, X-ray, ambulance, air ambulance and appliances.
Expanded health screening benefit that applies to 24 tests.
New observation room visit benefit.
Individual Medical Bridge is available in several plan options so employers and their employees can choose the coverage that best meets their needs. Employers with high-deductible health plans can select a more robust HSA-compliant plan.
They also can choose from several optional benefits and employee optional benefit riders coupled with a simplified plan design. Smaller employers can take advantage of lower requirements for post-enrollment guaranteed issue at lower benefit levels to make coverage available to more workers. Employees up to age 75 can qualify for coverage.
Because Individual Medical Bridge is an indemnity plan, it’s easier for employees to know exactly what their benefits are for a covered illness or accident, Hesler said.
"It’s a ‘what you see is what you get’ benefit amount. That’s different from an expense-based or ‘gap’ plan with an ‘up to’ benefit amount that may be advertised but rarely realized," he said. "And claim payments go directly to the policyholder to use however they need it. The policyholder is in control."
Indemnity plans also tend to pay claims more quickly than expense-based coverage, which requires primary major medical claims to be paid first. With Individual Medical Bridge, there’s no coordination of benefits with major medical or other coverage.
Colonial Life’s Individual Medical Bridge plan designs vary by state and are not available in all states. This is a limited policy. Coverage has exclusions and limitations that may affect benefits payable.