Easier, faster payment: Industry-first program aims to speed claims

Supplemental benefit plans have become more common with the advent of consumer-directed health plans. Yet many employees have found that when they have a critical illness diagnosis, hospital stay or serious accident, it can be cumbersome and time-consuming to obtain payments from those plans. 

That’s why UnitedHealthcare launched the Supplemental Health Claim Advocacy Program, an industry-first initiative that makes the payment process easier and faster for employees with an accident, critical illness or hospital indemnity protection plan. 

Soon after a critical event, an eligible plan participant is contacted by phone or email by a UnitedHealthcare Claim Advocate to start the claim process under the person’s applicable plan. This can facilitate a faster payout and enable the person to focus on getting well. 

Without program, employees have to wait months for plan payout 

Without access to the program, employees may wait months to start the related claim under a supplemental plan, delaying a cash benefit that can help pay their out-of-pocket expenses or cover lost income. Payouts under UnitedHealthcare supplemental plans can reach $5,000 or more under accident and hospital indemnity plans, while critical illness coverage can total up to $40,000.    

This resource highlights the value to companies and employees of combining medical and ancillary health benefits, including vision, dental and financial protection coverage, through a single health plan. 

“Almost two-thirds of the workforce has less than $1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket expenses related to an unexpected accident, hospital stay or serious illness, so this resource helps people make the most of their benefits and focus on healing,” said Tom Wiffler, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits. 

More employers offer supplemental benefit plans as a way to add financial security for employees, especially with more than 80 percent of employers now offering consumer-directed health plans. 

Ancillary benefits improve employee productivity and engagement 

Research shows that adding these types of ancillary benefits to a core medical benefits offering can help improve companies’ bottom lines by increasing productivity and employee engagement. According to a report by LIMRA, a worldwide association of insurance and financial services companies, ancillary benefits can help attract and retain employees while improving morale. 

The Supplemental Health Claim Advocacy Program is available to companies nationwide with 250 or more employees with both UnitedHealthcare medical and supplemental health plans, including accident, critical illness or hospital indemnity coverage. 

For more information, please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative.