The Principal Financial Group has added critical illness insurance to the list of voluntary benefits in an attempt to fill a potential gap in financial protection.

According to the insurer, those who suffer a serious illness often incur added expenses not covered by medical insurance, which can leave them vulnerable to financial risk.

Voluntary critical illness insurance provides a cash benefit to pay for additional expenses, says The Principal, like medical deductibles, copayments, travel costs, childcare, and home healthcare needs. The insurance benefit covers the five most common critical illnesses, including cancer, coronary artery bypass graft, heart attack, major organ failure and stroke.

The Principal adds that employers can offer the benefit with as few as 10 enrolled employees or 10 percent participation. Employees select their level of protection and pay at a group rate through payroll deduction. Coverage also is available for spouses and children.

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