EssentialCare Critical Illness Named Insurance Nexus '2019 New Product of the Year' for Groundbreaking Severe Mental Health Coverage

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EssentialCare Critical Illness Takes Home 'New Product of the Year' and 'North American Contribution to Society' Awards at 2019 Insurance Nexus Awards Gala For Severe Mental Illness Rider

BCS is pleased to announce it is the recipient of the 2019 Insurance Nexus 'New Product of the Year' and 'North American Contribution to Society' awards for the EssentialCare Group Critical Illness product.

"As healthcare costs continue to rise, a majority of the population is ill-prepared for the toll a critical illness diagnosis or life-changing health event could take on their lives, and their wallets," said Bruce Bahn, vice president, Product. "With EssentialCare Critical Illness, we have introduced groundbreaking coverage for four of the most prevalent serious mental health conditions, recognizing a severe mental illness as a 'critical illness' under the policy, and protecting consumers from the financial burden of a critical illness diagnosis, whether physical or mental."

In the U.S., over 44 million adults have a mental health condition, with nearly five percent of all Americans experiencing a severe mental illness (Mental Health America, 2019). The World Health Organization ranks major depressive disorder as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet, until EssentialCare Critical Illness was brought to market, CI policies excluded coverage for severe mental illnesses.

With EssentialCare Group Critical Illness, the policy provides fixed payments directly to the insured in the event of a covered critical illness diagnosis. The product includes a first-of-its-kind optional rider that provides coverage for four severe mental health conditions: severe major depressive disorder, severe bipolar I disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia, classifying them as a critical illness under the policy and providing needed financial support in the event of one of these diagnoses.

"EssentialCare Group Critical Illness (CI) is an innovative solution to help address the financial challenges facing today's health insurance consumers," said James Drew, senior vice president, Marketing, Product & Strategic Ventures. "This recognition is a credit to the hard work and dedication of our team at BCS who worked tirelessly to create something new and innovative. We are proud to be the first to bring this coverage to the U.S. market, and to play a part in supporting mental health in America."

BCS launched the EssentialCare Group Critical Illness product in April 2019. Underwritten by BCS Insurance Company, the product is available exclusively through BCS brokers and the BCS Insurance Agency. For more information, visit If you are a broker interested in selling EssentialCare Group Critical Illness, please visit



Nathan Post
Vice President, Marketing
BCS Financial

About BCS Financial

BCS Financial Corporation has more than 70 years of experience delivering a wide-range of insurance and financial solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide. Through its subsidiaries, BCS Insurance Company and 4 Ever Life Insurance Company, BCS is licensed in all 50 states and is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. BCS Financial is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Learn more at​

Source: BCS Financial