Critical Illness Insurance | The Hartford

Critical Illness Insurance | The Hartford

Group Critical Illness Insurance

Helps you alleviate the expenses that come with a covered critical illness.

Here's what you need to know

Group Critical Illness Insurance helps provide financial support if diagnosed with a covered critical illness.


If you’re diagnosed with a critical illness like a heart attack or stroke, your life can change quickly. In addition to the emotional and physical toll, there may be strain on your personal finances. That’s because while a major medical plan may pay for some of the costs associated with treatment, out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays and deductibles can still put a strain on your savings.


However, once you’re enrolled in Group Critical Illness Insurance, you’ll have additional financial protection if you have a covered critical illness. With this policy, you receive cash benefits paid directly to you (unless otherwise assigned) to use however you choose.


  • Gives a payment to use however you see fit
  • The payment is made directly to you
  • It can help pay out-of-pocket expenses related to medical care associated with covered illnesses
  • In addition to medical care, you may use it to pay for things like childcare, lodging, or over-the-counter medication


You can collect this benefit in addition to other coverage you have, including your employer’s major medical plan, any other type of medical coverage, disability insurance, or other benefits you may be eligible to collect. However, it is NOT health insurance and does not satisfy the requirement of minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Dealing with a critical illness can be costly to you in two ways:


  • Medical bills. It’s not unusual for a critical illness to result in out-of-pocket expenses. It starts with the usual, deductibles and copays, but it doesn’t end there. You might decide to go to a doctor or facility that’s out-of-network. You might decide to get a second opinion or type of treatment that isn’t covered at all. When your health is at stake, it's important to feel like you have control and choices. 
  • Lost income. Treatment and recovery may require extra time away from work. That can impact the paycheck your family relies on. Or you might discover you have added expenses because you need more help around the house, extra childcare, or additional lodging near treatment. These costs can drain your savings quickly.


The advantage of this insurance is simple: you can use your critical illness benefit any way you choose. You can use it to help pay for medical expenses like deductibles and copays, as well as any non-medical expenses. You can also use this money to help pay daily living expenses such as grocery bills, mortgage payments, childcare, and transportation – all of which can be an added worry if you lose income while you’re out of work.


Access to this benefit helps you more control over your finances and ultimately your health care options, too. Less stress about money and added peace of mind are both great ways to support your recovery.

These are the periods when you are eligible to enroll for Group Critical Illness Insurance:


  1. Within your new hire enrollment period
  2. If you have a qualifying life event (you get married, have a baby, etc.)
  3. During open enrollment 


Check with your human resources/benefits team for specifics about these timeframes.


Keep in mind: If you enroll during these timeframes, you have what is called "guaranteed issue," which means no medical questions or tests are required to enroll. Pre-existing condition limitations may apply.

These form(s) are in Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) format and are available for downloading and printing.


Critical Illness 2024 Plan Highlights


Critical Illness Insurance Flyer


Premium Sheet


Health Screening Flyer


How to File a Claim


Portability Form


LifeLime Financial Wellness Blog

How It Works

Number One Enroll Now Icon

You enroll in Group Critical Illness Insurance

Number Two Doctor Checkup Icon

After it’s in effect, you receive a diagnosis of a covered critical illness

Number Three Giving Money Icon

Receive a payment

Number Four Moneybag Icon

Use your money however you want

Doctor's test results indicate a heart attack diagnosis.

That’s when Group Critical Illness Insurance comes in.

Because you have Group Critical Illness Insurance, your diagnosis means you’re eligible to receive a payment you can use any way you choose.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Who is the provider?

    The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity.
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  • When is a benefit paid under the policy?

    Once your insurance is effective, you’ll receive benefits for a covered accident. These benefits vary by state and may have other limitations and exclusions that may affect what’s payable. This plan provides protection for covered events experienced while off the job only. See your disclosure statement or outline of coverage/disclosure document for full details on your coverage.
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  • Who in my family is eligible for this insurance?

    Members of your family who are considered eligible to enroll for insurance include:

    • You – if you are an active employee 
    • Your legal spouse – under age 70
    • Your eligible dependent children


    You must be enrolled in coverage for members of your family to also enroll. 

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  • How much does this insurance cost?

    This is group insurance offered at group rates. Refer to the policy documents above for complete details.
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  • Do I have to answer health questions or take a medical exam?

    No, you don’t. Your Group Critical Illness Insurance is guaranteed issue, which means no medical questions or tests are required to enroll in this coverage. Pre-existing condition limitations may apply.
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  • What if my employment status changes?

    Good news! If you leave or retire from your current employer, you can continue your Group Critical Illness Insurance without interruption (subject to applicable law and the policy’s terms and conditions). Although payroll deduction will no longer be available, you can opt for other payment methods such as direct bank account deduction, credit card billing or home billing. Higher rates may apply. 
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  • When would my coverage start?

    Coverage is effective on the 1st of the month after coverage is approved.
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  • Am I really free to use the payment any way I choose?

    Yes, you are! There are no restrictions or requirements about how you can use your critical illness cash benefit. When you’re facing a critical illness, you want to be able to focus your time and energy on treatment and recovery. This policy can help you do just that. You’re free to use your benefit on medical expenses and/or non-medical expenses. Having that kind of flexibility can help you feel more in control over your care and your finances at a very stressful time.

Are you ready To Enroll?

Act now to put Group Critical Illness Insurance in place to help offset expenses that may not be covered by other insurance.


NOTE: When you sign up, you are enrolling for the full plan year and must remain in the plan until the next open enrollment period. You may only cancel your Group Critical Illness Insurance during open enrollment or with a qualifying life event. To cancel, please call the employee service center at 1-800-609-8504.

Do You Need Help?

Our team is ready

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Phone Number: 1-800-609-8504
  • Legal Disclaimers

    Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association.


    Blue Shield and the Shield symbol are registered marks of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.


    Mercer makes no recommendation regarding your decision whether to purchase this insurance, and we are not acting as a fiduciary investment adviser to you. Mercer may provide information that is developed by Mercer, an insurance carrier or other party to educate you regarding the insurance. You should not construe Mercer’s sharing of this information as a recommendation by, or advice from, Mercer regarding your decision. You may wish to seek the advice of your own financial or investment adviser when deciding whether to purchase this insurance and with respect to any investment component in the insurance.

  • Mercer's Role & Compensation