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UnitedHealth offers critical illness protection plans

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UnitedHealthcare Inc. has launched critical illness protection plans that will provide cash benefits to help employees with out-of-pocket expenses after a major illness.

The coverage provides support for employees recovering from a major illness. After an employee is diagnosed with a major illness, the coverage provides a lump sum payment of $5,000 to $40,000, which can be used for medical bills as well as living expenses. The employees spouse and children are also covered, according to UnitedHealthcare spokesman.

The plan provides additional payouts for certain conditions as well as for a recurrence within 12 months of an initial diagnosis. Covered illnesses include ALS, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as childhood conditions including cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis, according to the statement.

“A significant medical diagnosis can be devastating for people personally and financially, often causing unexpected expenses that are not covered by medical benefits,” Gary Harger, vice president of voluntary products, UnitedHealthcare, said in the statement. “Even when covered by health insurance, some people suffer a major illness that can result in significant expenses and possibly lost income due to their care. These new critical illness protection plans can help supplement medical benefits and enable employees to focus on healing from their illness instead of their bills.”