UnitedHealthcare's "Catalyst" Combines High-Deductible Plan With Immediate Benefits Coverage for New Jersey Employers
Newark, N.J. February 21, 2012 UnitedHealthcare is now offering New Jersey employers Catalyst, an innovative health plan that combines a high-deductible plan design with upfront coverage that helps pay for some medical expenses for plan participants before the deductible is met.
Catalyst provides New Jersey plan customers with a pre-deductible allowance of between $250 and $1,000, but still offers the comprehensive coverage for catastrophic events that is common with a high-deductible plan. The allowance is intended to give consumers immediate access to covered services while somewhat lessening the out-of-pocket costs they may have with a high-deductible plan. When using the allowance, plan participants will only be responsible for a copayment.
The new plan, available to New Jersey employers with at least 51 employees, offers two plan options:
- a pre-deductible allowance that counts only toward emergency care and routine care such as doctor office visits;
- a pre-deductible allowance that is applicable to all medical services.
With either plan, UnitedHealthcare pays the eligible medical expenses incurred under the allowance until the pre-deductible allowance is exhausted.
For example, an employer can select a plan that includes a $750 pre-deductible allowance and a $30 co-payment for physician office visits. In this plan, an employee who visits a physician in UnitedHealthcare’s care provider network and receives $250 worth of services would be responsible only for paying the $30 copay. The balance of the physician’s bill ($220) will be paid by UnitedHealthcare from the pre-deductible allowance, and the employee will still have a $530 allowance remaining for the year.
"Employers in New Jersey will be very interested in Catalyst because its upfront coverage and comprehensive benefits bring tremendous value to them and their employees," said Jeffrey Benedict, partner at Preferred Benefits Group Inc. in Fair Lawn, N.J. "Catalyst is an innovative and unique product for this region that provides access to quality and cost-effective health care."
All Catalyst plans include access to UnitedHealthcare's NurseLine, a toll-free 24/7 connection to registered nurses, as well as an assortment of consumer-friendly online tools, such as the Treatment Cost Estimator, which enables people to comparison shop for health services and understand their potential costs in advance.
"UnitedHealthcare designed Catalyst as an alternative to traditional high-deductible plans. Employees enrolled in Catalyst will have the peace of mind knowing that many important health care services, like preventive and emergency care, will be covered," said Michael McGuire, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of New Jersey.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.