Resources to help speed up employee payouts from supplemental benefits

Employees who’ve faced a medical crisis know the financial stress that can come with it. That’s why many of them purchase supplemental benefits to help cover out-of-pocket expenses from a serious accident, critical illness or hospital stay.

Having one of these policies is just the start. It’s also important to have access to a streamlined claims process that supports quick benefit payouts for when help may be needed most.

That’s the idea behind two UnitedHealthcare services: Benefit Assist and UnitedHealthcare Benefit Ally®. Both are expanding to help more people get paid faster and more easily following a qualified medical event.

“These programs are made possible through data and technology, helping us make the payout process easier for people enrolled in our supplemental benefit plans,” said Tom Wiffler, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits. “We’re even working with employers that don’t have a medical plan with us to bring this personalized support to more people.”

Here's how it works:

  • Following a qualified critical illness diagnosis, hospital stay or accident, a member is contacted by a Benefit Assist representative.
  • The representative initiates the claim, eliminating the need for the member to collect and submit the necessary documentation.
  • The member receives a payout faster and more easily.

“We want members to focus on their health and healing, rather than on paperwork,” Tom said. “Resources like Benefit Assist, which integrate medical and supplemental benefits, make that possible.”

For employers already using the service, data shows that 77% of supplemental health claims have been initiated by a Benefit Assist representative rather than a member, which has led to a 66% increase in payouts.Based on that success, the service has recently been expanded to more large employers with self-funded plans, even if they don’t have medical insurance through UnitedHealthcare.

A similar program is also gaining a bigger footprint. Benefit Ally automates payouts for workers whose employers combine three supplemental health plans with medical benefits. In the event of a serious injury, sudden critical illness or hospital stay, a payout to the member is automatically triggered without having to submit a claim.

Because of its previous success, Benefit Ally has recently been expanded to employers with fully insured plans in 31 states and will be available to organizations with self-funded plans in 2023.

“In an emergency or unexpected diagnosis, members may even forget they have this coverage,” Tom said. “These automated payouts provide timely help and important financial protection when it’s needed the most.”

For more information about Benefit Ally, visit

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