Over a year ago, we shared how Brella helps with COVID by covering the downstream diagnoses that appear in some serious cases. Since then we’ve learned a lot about this disease and had moments of optimism before this most recent new variant, Omicron, took center stage.
Omicron, to national and global health organizations, benefits advisors, employers and employees alike, is still shrouded in mystery. The CDC and WHO have indicated that this strain is the most infectious thus far and displays similar symptoms to previous strains—including cough, fever and fatigue. But we can’t yet determine what the long term effects are, which critical illnesses or severe symptoms could result, and when they might develop. What’s more, while Omicron has been regarded as a less severe variant, it has still been linked to long COVID—which can cause intense fatigue, irregular heart rhythms, and other issues months after the initial infection. As one recent health expert at CUNY put it, “We should assume that this variant can do the same thing that previous variants have until proven otherwise.”
Meanwhile, health hardships are becoming increasingly greater financial burdens for employees as the U.S. economy experiences inflation and rising consumer prices. In a recent survey, over half of the American employee population felt they couldn’t pay $1,000 or more for out-of-pocket expenses without relying on debt or credit if a serious illness or accident occurred today. And 33% of employees do not feel confident that their health benefits will protect them or their family in the event they are affected by COVID-19 and the complications that can follow.
So while we may not know a lot about Omicron, or how the virus may continue to evolve, we can support our employees with better health benefits and give them greater peace of mind by easing the financial stress that could result from requiring COVID care.
Why supplemental health is a smart solution for Omicron
Rising demand for supplemental health offerings came to the forefront in the pandemic. A Benefitfocus study recently found the use of hospital indemnity plans has doubled over a four-year period and jumped 13% in 2021 alone. Critical illness and accident plans have also increased according to the study.
While HR professionals believe that offering more voluntary benefits will retain employees (83%), engage employees (72%) and attract new talent (72%), traditional supplemental health plans don't typically cover common COVID-related complications like, for example, pneumonia. Employers should look beyond traditional supplemental products to solutions that offer a wider breadth of coverage.
At Brella, we strive to show up when it matters most. And in light of the new variant, we want to get this coverage to as many Americans as possible. Here’s how we help—
We offer the most wide-ranging supplemental plan on the market
Brella is built for wide-ranging supplemental coverage so that when we face complex, compound health issues, or something like a new unknown COVID variant, the core plan covers most of the reasons you might need serious medical attention.
Brella covers 13,000+ injuries and illnesses in one simple supplemental health insurance plan, more than any other supplemental health plan on the market today. Employees can choose the level of coverage they need to help offset their health insurance deductible, cost-sharing, and any other expenses that come up on the road to recovery.
Brella doesn’t cover the diagnosis code for COVID-19 because patients are often asymptomatic or have cold-like symptoms that don’t run up medical bills. Instead, Brella’s core plan will trigger a benefit if a member is diagnosed with covered conditions like pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, sepsis, certain heart issues, lung issues and more.
We’re built to say yes when employees will need it most
Brella is a guaranteed issue plan with no pre-existing condition exclusions, and we pay benefits based simply on the diagnosis. There are no covered accident or hospitalization requirements. That means employees can file a claim via our mobile app or online member portal as soon as a licensed provider diagnoses their condition—not weeks later when a bill or EOB comes in the mail. If it's a covered condition diagnosed by a licensed provider, their Brella plan will pay.
We know that facing a COVID-related emergency can be scary, that’s why we’ve created a streamlined way for employees to file a claim online and by mobile app with pictures of readily available claims evidence. We want to say yes as easily as possible so that employees can pay attention to what’s important if they or a loved one are faced with health hardships due to Omicron. And if they forget to file a claim, we’ll remind them so they can be sure to use their Brella benefits.
We move FAST when emergencies happen quickly
We know emergencies move fast, that’s why we do too. With Brella, not only can people file a claim as soon as they’re diagnosed with information they have on hand, but completed claims are paid out— via Venmo, Paypal, or to a designated bank account— typically within 72 hours. Employees can choose their payment preferences in advance and our team will reach out if we need any additional information.
Plus, we got rid of common employer headaches
We’ve also made life easy for employers with same-day paperless implementation, an enrollment platform that handles education and makes personalized recommendations, and an employer portal for easy admin. Employers can also preview their bill so they pay the right amount every month, eliminating the need to spend time on complex reconciliations.
It’s never been more important to provide best in class health benefits that give employees peace of mind in the face of Omicron and whatever COVID throws at us next. Don’t wait until next open enrollment to take action. Get in touch with our team to learn more.