Health insurance plans, whether individual or employer-issued, are available to help people through routine medical situations. But some medical plans offered by employers have high deductibles, which could potentially accrue high out-of-pocket costs before any expenses are absorbed by the medical plan. Specialty benefits are designed to off-set costs that may not be covered by basic medical benefits. And people can mix and match their specialty benefits options to ensure they’re better covered for their individual needs. Specialty benefits can be provided as fully employer-paid, as a voluntary offering, or as a hybrid (where the employer provides partial payment and the employee assumes the remainder of the cost). These benefits include a range of options to go beyond the basics of employees’ medical coverage. These offerings include life insurance, critical illness coverage, disability, accident and hospital insurance, all of which can be customized based on an individual's specific needs. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and Blue Care Network of Michigan (BCN) have created partnerships to make their breadth of specialty benefits offerings stronger, so that customers can better customize their plans to meet their needs. The following options are available through these partnerships:
- Life insurance. No matter how large a person’s family is or how robust their coverage needs are, a person can find a life insurance plan that protects his or her loved ones, provides access to grief, legal and financial counseling, and even travels with them should they leave their company.
- Long- and short-term disability coverage. An accident or illness could put a person’s financial future at risk. Even joyous situations, like a pregnancy, can sometimes be financially draining. But disability plans from our carrier partners give a person the support they need to get back to work faster. Plans customized to fit specific needs are available, and can be offered as employer-paid, employee-paid, or as a hybrid (where the employer provides partial payment the employee assumes the remainder of the cost), based on an employer’s budget.
- Accident coverage. If the insured person gets injured, he or she may need help paying for unexpected costs accompanying their injury, like lost wages. Accident insurance plans will enable them to customize their benefits package to adapt to their needs and help pay unexpected costs. Employers can choose what benefit bank options to offer employees and, upon electing coverage, an employee can decide what benefit bank option would work best in their situation. Similar to other specialty benefits, employers can offer as fully employer paid, a hybrid, or as a 100% employee paid.
- Hospital Recovery. While medical coverage helps to manage costs for medical bills, a hospital recovery insurance plan ensures that the covered individual gets the money they need to help pay for other expenses, such as home care, housekeeping, child care and remaining hospital bills. Hospital Recovery insurance plans can further supplement an accident and/or critical illness plan in the event that either of those situations result in a hospitalization.
- Critical Illness coverage. Critical illness plans can help insured individuals get the financial protection they need in case of a critical illness that inhibits them from working or one that incurs additional uncovered expenses. The customizable plans have a variety of built-in or add-on features including wellness benefits, skin cancer pay outs, coverage for spouses and dependents, and more.
For more information on our specialty benefit options, please email us at SpecialtyBenefits@bcbsm.com to learn more. To learn even more about specialty benefits, check out these blogs: