COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 19 PAP smears and mammograms,screening tests for women's health issues, account for nearly three-fourths ofwellness claims on Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company policies. Of theapproximately 200,000 wellness claims Colonial pays each year, 44 percent arefor PAP tests and another 29 percent are for mammograms.
"A wellness benefit is a great feature to look for when considering aninsurance policy for cancer, critical illness or accident coverage because thewellness benefit is typically paid on top of any other coverage thepolicyholder already has," says Monica Francis, Colonial's assistant vicepresident of product marketing. "That means even if the policyholder's majormedical insurance covers the screening test, the wellness benefit will stillbe paid."
Wellness benefits are payments for certain screening tests designed toprevent or detect diseases as early as possible, when treatment is most likelyto be successful - and less costly. The American Cancer Society(1) reportsthat regular screening tests can detect some cancers in the early stages whenthey're easier to treat. In fact, the five-year survival rate for screening-accessible cancers is about 86 percent.(1) "Early detection and prompttreatment are keys to recovery," adds Francis. "New technology hasdramatically improved cancer survival rates, but technological advances canalso mean higher costs for cancer treatment. Detecting and treating cancer inthe early stages can help employees recover quicker and can help keeptreatment costs down."
Wellness benefits are available on several kinds of insurance policies,such as cancer or critical illness. They also are available as separateriders, or additions, to other types of coverage, such as some accident,disability and supplemental health policies. The benefit payments can rangefrom $25 to $250 or more, depending on the type of policy. Most policies payfor one type of test per year, although some also pay for a follow-upscreening test if the first test shows abnormal results.
For Colonial policies, the benefit is paid directly to the policyholderunless he or she specifies otherwise. "That extra cash can come in handy,especially for those who've had to miss work or pay for child care in order tovisit the doctor for the screening," Francis adds.
(1) Cancer Facts & Figures, American Cancer Society, 2007.
Colonial Supplemental Insurance is the marketing brand of Colonial Life &Accident Insurance Company. Colonial is a market leader in providing voluntaryinsurance to employees and their families through the workplace, along withpersonal benefits communication, enrollment capabilities and a commitment toservice. Colonial Supplemental Insurance products are underwritten by ColonialLife & Accident Insurance Company and include a broad portfolio of insurancecoverages, such as disability, life, and supplemental accident and healthinsurance policies. Similar products, if approved, are underwritten in NewYork by a Colonial affiliate, The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company.
Colonial is based in Columbia, S.C. and has been named one of the top fourbest large companies to work for in South Carolina. A subsidiary of UnumGroup, Colonial operates in 49 states, the District of Columbia and PuertoRico. "Colonial Supplemental Insurance," "for what happens next" and thelogo, separately and in combination, are registered service marks of ColonialLife & Accident Insurance Company. All rights reserved.
For more information about Colonial's products and services oropportunities with the company, call (803) 798-7000 or visitwww.coloniallife.com.Wellness claims resulting in a paid benefit include: 1. PAP 44% 2. Mammogram 29% 3. Prostate-specific antigen test 9.5%