What are the types of stop-loss insurance? 

By self-funding their own plans, businesses take on the risk of their employees' healthcare expenses. Stop-loss insurance is a layer of protection in case health insurance claims exceed a certain threshold.

There are two types of stop-loss insurance--specific and aggregate coverage. Specific stop-loss insurance covers extreme losses for a person covered by the plan. Say, for instance, an employee has a catastrophic illness or injury and racks up extraordinary medical bills. The specific stop-loss coverage would kick in when the bills exceeded a certain level defined in the policy.

Aggregate stop-loss coverage protects employers when total claims by the entire group exceed a certain level, such as 125 percent of the cost of projected claims.

Although you never deal directly with stop-loss insurance as a consumer, the coverage provides an indirect benefit by enabling employers to take on risk safely and provide health benefits to their employees and dependents.