The employee benefits unit at Assurant Inc. is adding an employer-paid pricing option for disability coverage purchased through its Serious Disability Benefit insurance program.[@@]

In January, Assurant Employee Benefits, Kansas City, Mo., introduced the plan as a voluntary, employee-paid program.

Assurant Employee Benefits says the program holds down the cost of disability insurance by linking benefits to impairment ratings developed by the American Medical Association, Chicago.

Any insured who is hospitalized for at least 72 hours can qualify for 6 months of benefits under the plan, but an insured must have an AMA disability rating of at least 51% to qualify for long-term disability benefits.

The program is available to all industries in all areas of the United States, according to Assurant Employee Benefits.