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Hartford Financial (HIG) Launches Plan for Mental Health

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. HIG recently came up with a new program for its group hospital indemnity insurance product, namely Behavioral Health and Substance Support Benefits. This new program has other facilities besides the traditional hospitalization coverage. It helps individuals with mental health issues finance their treatments.

The fact that the company launched this plan for patients bodes well, particularly at a time when individuals are restricted to their homes due to stringent social-distancing measures on account of the COVID-19 crisis. One of the major factors behind the spike in mental illness is unemployment. Numbers suggest that the COVID-19 situation induced a surge in substance abuse and mental illnesses.

Per Hartford Financial’s Future of Benefits Study, around 48% of U.S. workers suffered anxiety due to the pandemic while another 24% dealt with depression or anxiety regularly. This is an alarming rate and therefore now is the right time for companies to cater to the needs of people.

The study also suggested that 51% employers who never provided mental health services to its workers are now interested in meting out the same solutions.

The company’s hospital indemnity insurance offers a cash benefit if a patient has to stay at the hospital due to an illness or injury. The new program will provide financial aid, which can cost up to $25,000 for a 30-day inpatient addiction treatment program and a maximum expense of $10,000 for outpatient treatment.

The plan also includes additional amenities, such as employer-paid, employee-paid or cost-sharing funding options plus value-added services that provide workers the right access to counselling, etc.

This move is in-line with the company’s commitment to help employers with voluntary benefit options to meet the evolving needs of their employees. The insurance company even collaborated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for making employers and employees understand the gravity of mental health stigma in offices and motivate the ones suffering to get support and care.

The pandemic took a toll on the lives and mental health conditions of Americans and this strategic move is likely to come in handy.

Price Performance

Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 24.6% in the past six months compared with the industry’s rally of 29.7%.

Other companies in the same space, such as MetLife, Inc. MET, Old Republic International Corporation ORI and American International Group, Inc. AIG have also gained 34.4%, 10.5% and 30.7%, respectively, in the same time frame. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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