Cigna’s (CI) new group hospital indemnity insurance policy, called Cigna Hospital Care, provides individuals and families additional financial protection when an unexpected covered hospitalization occurs.

Available starting in April 2016, the new plan is part of Cigna’s complete suite of voluntary benefit offerings which includes accidental injury, critical illness, dental, vision, AD&D, life and disability coverages.

"Whether recovering from an illness or injury or simply returning to work, we want to help customers worry less about medical bills and focus more on getting back to health and to life," Mark Marsters, senior vice president, Group Operations for Cigna.

"We designed our voluntary benefits to fit seamlessly into any comprehensive benefit package. They also provide employees more choices to help match the amount of financial protection to their individual benefit needs."

A complementary product to major medical plans, Cigna Hospital Care addresses the unique needs of both employers and individuals:

Plans can be designed to include benefits for a wide range of hospital-related services

It complements coverage to any medical plan, regardless of which insurer is chosen for medical coverage

The coverage is portable and can be taken with an employee if they leave their employer (age and other restrictions apply)

For employers, Cigna Hospital Care is easy to administer and can be designed to fit into any comprehensive benefit package

Employers also have the option to add a wellness rider, which would pay a flat dollar amount to employees who receive an annual wellness health screening

If a customer is hospitalized due to a covered injury or illness, Cigna Hospital Care pays them a lump sum that can be used as they see fit for things like out-of-pocket medical costs, hiring extra help for child care or housework during recovery and other expenses that may come up.

With two-thirds of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, costs associated with a hospital admission can be an unexpected challenge to an individual’s finances.i

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Americans saw approximately 36 million inpatient stays nationwide in a single year, while the average hospital charges per stay increased 76 percent since 2000 to $10,730 in 2013.ii These average costs do not include a physician’s fees.

Cigna’s new group insurance policy will be available for employers to receive a quote in April 2016.