Health insurance laws and regulations have been monopolizing benefits seller and buyer mind share in recent months.
The people who sell disability insurance and related products and services are trying to remind everyone that acute health care costs are not the only health-related costs that the United States has to control.
Reducing the effects of injuries, sickness and disability on workers’ ability to work and employers’ ability to maximize productivity is also critical, disability specialists say.
Gregory Poulakos, a senior vice president at the UnitedHealthcare unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), talked about the need to do more to integrate health and disability management during a recent interview conducted via e-mail.
Poulakos cited a recent report from the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) showing a strong connection between any case of an employee taking federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave and later use of disability benefits.
UnitedHealthcare would, of course, like to see employer groups combine its health insurance with its short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) insurance programs.