Benefits provider Unum will begin offering stop-loss insurance to self-insured employers as early as this summer.

The product, which gives employers more flexibility in designing and managing their health plans, protects companies if their employees’ medical claims exceed expectations.

“Stop loss in particular is really a product that is utilized by mid-sized to larger companies,” says Rich Williams, senior vice president and general manager of Unum U.S. Stop Loss. “We definitely see the need increasing. That played a critical factor into us offering this product.”

[Image credit: Bloomberg]
[Image credit: Bloomberg]

It will allow Unum, a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company, to enter a $14 billion market, says Williams.

See also: Mid-sized employers make ‘steady migration’ toward self-insurance

The announcement comes shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that stops federal regulators from redefining stop-loss insurance as traditional health insurance.

“The market has grown consistently and there have been changes in health care,” Williams says. “We focus on the needs of our customers.”

The product will be available nationwide once a rollout in 12 to 15 states is complete, with effective dates of Jan. 1, 2018.

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