CIGNA Corp. now has concrete evidence that health coaching and other support services can help high-risk individuals avoid missing work due to short-term disability (STD), the company says.

CIGNA, Philadelphia (NYSE:CI), began testing the support services program on 26 client employers with about 118,000 benefit plan enrollees in 2009.

CIGNA researchers used medical, disability, pharmacy and other data to identify individuals with a 10% or greater risk of missing work due to a disability in the next 12 months.

About 80% of the high-risk individuals identified received access to personal health coaching, a lifestyle management program, an employee assistant program, disease management programs and vocational stay-at-work services.

The individuals who received the extra services had 15% fewer instances of STD-related absences than the individuals who did not receive the extra services, CIGNA says.

The individuals who received the extra services and did have a disability were absent 5 fewer days on average than the control group, CIGNA says.

In other insurance ideas news:

- ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company, Des Moines, Iowa, a unit of ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam (NYSE:ING), says it believes some consumers are reluctant to commit money to indexed annuities because they think interest rates will go up.

The company is trying a new crediting strategy designed to address that concern.

ING USA is basing the interest credits on changes in the 3-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), with a 0% crediting-rate floor and a stated crediting-rate cap.

The strategy should increase the rate of interest an annuity holder gets if rates rise, ING USA says.

- Lincoln National Corp., Radnor, Pa. (NYSE:LNC), is testing a strategy based on the premise that indexed universal life insurance buyers may prefer indexed products with no sub-account asset allocation restrictions.-

- Allison Bell

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