ING U.S. Offers New Hospital Indemnity Coverage to Help Round Out Employees' Benefits Changing employee benefits landscape and health care reform drive demand for greater voluntary insurance options at the workplace

MINNEAPOLIS, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ING U.S. today announced the launch of a new hospital indemnity insurance coverage that can help employees and their families reduce the financial burden of costly hospital stays.  The Compass Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance offering, available through an employer's workplace benefits program, is a limited benefit policy that provides fixed payments when an individual is admitted to a hospital.   

"With the addition of hospital indemnity coverage, we've expanded our Compass product suite to help employers offer affordable and flexible insurance benefits to employees with minimal administrative hassle while providing a well-rounded and affordable benefits package to their employees," said Heather Lavallee, president of ING U.S. employee benefits distribution.  "This development underscores the commitment ING U.S. has to growing its voluntary insurance business, and for delivering innovative, flexible options we know our distribution partners and clients need."  

The Compass voluntary product suite launched in 2012 with accident and critical illness offerings.  Designed like group benefit options rather than traditional voluntary products, the Compass suite offers easier administration for employers with a targeted solution for employees.  In addition, employers can mix and match different plan options to meet the needs of their particular workforce.    

With the convergence of health care reform, rising medical costs and a shift to high deductible health plans, voluntary benefits are evolving to meet the market need and can provide fixed insurance benefits upon the occurrence of an event such as a hospital confinement.  The approach of the ING U.S. Compass suite focuses on making it easier and more flexible for employers and employees to understand and manage their voluntary benefits.

Program Highlights

Compass Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance is designed to provide a fixed dollar benefit that can be used to help pay for costs associated with a hospital stay, including co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles, meals, parking for visiting family members, lost time from work, mortgage and utility payments, or anything else the employee chooses.  In addition, the coverage is portable in most states, like traditional voluntary benefits products, so an employee, spouse and children can continue coverage even if there is a job change, divorce or employee death.

There are three core elements to the program's basic coverage – hospital, critical care unit and rehabilitation facility stays.  Employers have the flexibility to select a plan design that meets their needs along with different options for the daily benefit amounts and how the coverage is paid - by the employer, employee or some combination.

Additional options include a wellness benefit to encourage annual health screenings; a critical illness rider to provide a benefit for certain critical illnesses including heart attack, stroke or coma; and an accident rider to provide benefits for common accidents such as dislocations, fractures or burns.  The wellness benefit is available on all three of the Compass suite products. All such benefits are paid as a fixed amount provided in the policy upon occurrence of the specified event.

In the current landscape, health focused voluntary products are experiencing industry growth.  LIMRA research shows that sales in this area were up 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to last year's pace and are experiencing a third consecutive year of double digit growth.  These offerings include insurance products such as disability, critical illness, accident, dental and hospital indemnity.1  ING U.S.'s own voluntary business experienced growth of 39 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012.

As voluntary benefits start to play a bigger role in supplementing an employee's insurance program, there is also a need for more people to understand their value and importance.   According to ING U.S.'s 2012 Insurance Revealed study2, only 25 percent of employees were familiar with hospital indemnity insurance.  ING U.S. is helping to raise awareness and increase adoption by working with distribution partners and employers to provide comprehensive products, tools, resources and education.

For more information on the Compass product suite, please call ING U.S. Employee Benefits at 866-566-2316.

1 U.S. Worksite Sales survey, LIMRA, First Quarter 2013

2 Findings are from an online survey conducted by Praxis Research Partners in July 2012.  Respondents were 1,006 adults, of whom 887 were employed, over the age of 25 with an annual household income of $50,000 or greater.  Data were weighted to make the results representative of the U.S. population.

About ING
ING U.S. (NYSE: VOYA), which plans to rebrand in the future as Voya Financial, is a premier retirement, investment and insurance company serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States. The company's vision is to be America's Retirement Company and its guiding principle is centered on solving the most daunting financial challenge facing Americans today — retirement readiness. Working directly with clients and through a broad group of financial intermediaries, independent producers, affiliated advisors and dedicated sales specialists, ING U.S. provides a comprehensive portfolio of asset accumulation, asset protection and asset distribution products and services. With a dedicated workforce of approximately 7,000 employees, ING U.S. is grounded in a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family and one institution at a time.  For more information, visit http://ing.us.

ING U.S. Employee Benefits has nearly 40 years of experience in the voluntary benefits business. Voluntary benefits are benefits offered at the workplace and elected and paid for by employees. Voluntary products offered by ING U.S. Employee Benefits include accident, critical illness, whole life, universal life, and disability income insurance. Insurance products are issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY). Within the State of New York, only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted, and its products issued. Both are members of the ING family of companies. Product availability and provisions may vary by state.

SOURCE ING U.S.



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