Introduction to portable life & critical illness insurance coverage

Canada-based Manulife Financial Group Benefits has launched its new “personal benefits” which allows employers to introduce their employees to portable life and critical illness insurance coverage.

With personal benefits, Manulife Group Benefits takes on the administration and deals directly with the member from the first inquiry through to collection of premium, allowing employers to enrich their employee’s protection without increasing administration or the cost to their benefits programme, said Manulife Financial.

According to Manulife Financial, employers will be able to inform their employees that they have access to either personal life or personal critical illness, or both. Manulife then provides direct communication and educational support to explain the value of these protections to interested employees. Employees can then elect to purchase the additional coverage for themselves, their spouse and their children.

Personal life is term insurance coverage that supplements existing insurance, including basic coverage available through group benefits programmes or products an employee may own. Personal life coverage offers a benefit maximum of $500,000 to age 70 and child coverage in the amount of $20,000.

Personal critical illness provides additional coverage that may not be available through their group benefits plan and supplements traditional health and disability benefits. A tax-free lump-sum payment is made if the member or their spouse becomes ill with one of 22 listed covered medical conditions, with 15 covered conditions for the child. The standard benefit offers a maximum of $150,000 and child coverage in the amount of $10,000.

Rick Brunet, executive vice president of Manulife Financial Group Benefits, said: Manulife is responding to the changing needs evident in the marketplace. In the past, employers and employees were not concerned about the portability of traditional benefit coverage; this need has changed and we are happy to respond. We’re launching personal benefits starting with our life and critical illness products, but this is just the beginning, there is potential to expand into a broader range of products.