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Five things you never knew about disability insurance

Paul Nobile President
Nobile is a 20-year veteran of the insurance industry whose experience includes time with Rush Prudential Health Plans, Aetna, and United Healthcare. Prior to joining Anthem, Nobile served as the Director of Sales and Account Management for the Midwest region at UniCare, a health benefits company based in Chicago and owned by Anthem’s parent company and also ran UniCare’s Eastern Region with offices.

We all should have it, but none of us like to think or talk about it. That’s right, I’m talking about disability insurance. If you just cringed when I said the word “disability,” don’t worry—you’re not alone.

If you ever found yourself wondering, “Why should I offer my employees disability insurance?” or “What is disability insurance?” — this article is for you. When you’re talking about disability insurance, most employees would be hard pressed to understand what it really is. But it’s actually pretty simple: it protects their paycheck!

  1. Your employees (and prospective employees) value their benefits offerings, and your ability to attract and retain talent is increasingly determined by the benefits you offer. In fact, a recent study found that many younger workers actually prioritize traditional benefits, like disability insurance, over other work perks. The survey found that 35 percent of millennials (ages 18–34) have turned down a job offer either fully or partially due to the fact that they were dissatisfied with insurance offerings, compared to 27 percent of U.S. respondents overall.
  2. For employers of all sizes, disability insurance is an important benefit to package along with medical, dental, vision and life. More employers are offering trendy benefits like in-office massages or fitness classes to improve their employees’ overall wellness, but they often overlook low-hanging fruit, particularly as they seek to attract millennial employees. Disability insurance is a critical part of benefits offerings for employees of all ages.
  3. According to WebMD, employees have a 1-in-3 chance of suffering a disability that keeps one out of work for 90 days or longer at some point during their career. And while most people think of disability as the result of something like a car accident, the same WebMD article lists the most common reasons for disability as: arthritis, back pain, heart disease, cancer, depression, and diabetes. These are chronic conditions that have nothing to do with the kind of sudden injury that most people imagine when they think of disability. If one of these conditions prevented your employees from working, could they cope financially?
  4. A recent Life Happens survey found that most people couldn’t make it a month without their paycheck before financial difficulties would set in. So, it’s easy to see how important disability insurance is. Tackling employee financial insecurity through a comprehensive insurance package can demonstrate commitment to your workforce and offer the right safety net they need!
  5. In addition, disability benefits do more than just replace wages. When they are integrated with the employee health plan, they can help employees get healthy and return to work faster, thus reducing productivity loss and benefits administration costs for the employer. Disability insurance not only protects employees’ financial health, but also their physical and emotional health.

To learn more about disability insurance, visit Anthem’s website or talk to your broker about how disability benefits could be an important gap in your benefit offerings, a gap that can be surprisingly cost-effective to fill.

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