Sun Life survey shows a quarter of self-funded employers would consider COVID-19 protection coverage


Sun Life launches COVID-19 outbreak coverage for self-funded employers. (Credit: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann.)

Sun Life U.S. has added three COVID-19 insurance products to its stop-loss offerings, including coverage for outbreaks, providing risk protection for self-funded employers if employees become infected. Sun Life research shows that employers are focused on keeping their employees healthy while also concerned about the potential costs of COVID-19 in the workplace. More than a quarter of employers would consider benefits that provide additional protection against COVID-19, according to brokers surveyed by Sun Life.

“The needs of our clients have evolved significantly over the past six months,” said Jen Collier, senior vice president of Stop-Loss & Health for Sun Life U.S. “These new solutions will allow our self-funded clients to stay focused on creating a safe working environment for employees while letting us provide more protection for higher than expected plan costs associated with the diagnosis, testing, and treatment of COVID-19. For employers that self-fund their own health plans, these products provide meaningful coverage that offers financial protection and also gives them continued peace of mind, allowing them to focus on running their businesses during these challenging times.”

Stop-Loss insurance protects self-funded employers when they encounter high-dollar medical claims or higher-than-expected medical costs over the course of the year.

The new Sun Life Stop-Loss suite of COVID-19 coverages provides employers who self-fund their health plans with options for additional financial protection depending on their needs, including:

  • Outbreak coverage – If a certain number of employees test positive for COVID-19, the employer receives a benefit payment for eligible diagnosed employees once a pre-determined threshold has been met.
  • Specific benefit – If an employee receives a COVID-19 diagnosis resulting in hospitalization costs that reach the employer’s stop-loss deductible, the benefit increases the amount of reimbursement to the employer.
  • Aggregate benefit – If the amount of claims for COVID-19 cause health plan claims to exceed the employer’s aggregate stop-loss attachment point (the aggregate deductible), the attachment point will be reduced, resulting in a larger reimbursement for the employer.

Self-funded employers are eligible for Sun Life COVID-19 protection as long as they are using an approved workplace monitoring program to help manage the return-to-work process, maintain a safe workplace, and prevent the spread of the disease.

The first approved program, Collective Go, is a comprehensive COVID-19 screening, testing and monitoring solution developed by Sun Life partner Collective Health. Collective Go offers an evidence-based approach, with an adaptive scientific protocol developed by in-house medical experts and reviewed by former FDA Commissioners and researchers from leading academic and public health institutions. The Collective Go Protocol identifies external factors and determines a series of necessary measures including frequency of testing, screening, and compliance monitoring to help organizations reduce risk as employees return to the workplace. With the easy-to-use Collective Go app, workers complete a daily symptom and exposure checklist and manage their COVID-19 testing. Those who pass the protocol requirements receive Compliance Certificates.

In Sun Life’s recent survey, brokers estimated that about 50 percent of their employer clients were considering implementing a workplace monitoring program.

Since the start of the pandemic, Sun Life has swiftly introduced innovative product features and services to meet the growing and evolving needs of employer clients around the country, including fully virtual benefits enrollment, COVID-19 coverage for critical illness plans and COVID-19 compliance and regulatory expertise.

Source: Company Press Release