Innovative Critical Illness Policy Rider Provides Financial Support for Gene Therapies

The new Critical Illness rider from BCS pays cash for insureds who are diagnosed with a disease and opt to undergo an
FDA-approved gene therapy

CHICAGO, June 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — BCS Financial, an insurance and financial services company owned by all 34 Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, today announces the launch of an innovative, first-of-its-kind Critical Illness rider to help consumers pay for genetic therapies. The Gene Therapy Rider on BCS’s EssentialCare Critical Illness insurance policy can pay 100% of the policy face amount when an insured is diagnosed with a covered disease and opts to receive a gene therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Gene therapies, which the FDA defines as “…a technique that modifies a person’s genes to treat or cure disease,” have grown exponentially in recent years thanks to medical advancements in these new technologies. Prices vary, but typically range from $2-5M dollars for a one-time treatment.

“BCS is continually innovating our ancillary and voluntary products to better support the market and our customers,” says Drew Neslin, Head of Ancillary Benefits at BCS. “The price of gene therapies limits their accessibility for many, and our hope is that the Gene Therapy Rider on EssentialCare Critical Illness can help increase affordability and access to care for these life-changing treatments.”

EssentialCare Critical Illness provides fixed payments in the event of a covered diagnosis, and with the addition of the Rider, may provide an additional payout to help insureds pay for the cost of genetic therapy treatment. The payments, which are based on the policy’s face value, are made directly to the insured to use how they see fit.

The Gene Therapy Rider is the second innovative rider launched by BCS – in 2019, BCS was the first to offer a Severe Mental Illness Rider for Critical Illness, providing financial protection for four major severe mental health crises. The award-winning EssentialCare Group Critical Illness policy also provides coverage for up to 35 physical critical illnesses, eight childhood conditions, and a robust set of benefits that provide financial assistance for caregiver and support services that fit today’s consumer lifestyle.

EssentialCare Critical Illness is available to employer groups via brokers and MGAs. For more information about EssentialCare Critical Illness, visit

About BCS Financial: BCS Financial Corporation has 75 years of experience delivering a wide range of insurance and financial solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations and commercial markets 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

Media Contact:
Nathan Post
Phone: 630.472.7860.

SOURCE BCS Financial