The number of employers offering disability income insurance is on the rise, according to new research.

Prudential Financial discloses this finding in “Disability Insurance: Beyond Paycheck Protection.” Conducted on Prudential’s behalf by MRops and Oxygen Research, the study comprises three surveys: one of employers, a second of employees and a third of group employee benefits brokers.

The study reveals that 67 percent of employees say they own a disability income insurance policy (short- or long-term, individual or group coverage). That leaves one-third of employees without insurance coverage.

More than seven in 10 of the survey respondents (72 percent) identify “making ends meet” as a very important financial priority. This compares with 56 percent who flag “financial security if a wage earner can no longer work due to a disability or serious illness.”

Additionally, 38 percent of respondents say their ability to pay for health care costs to cover wellness, preventative maintenance chronic conditions and critical illness is “very good.” This contrasts with only 28 percent who describe as equally good their ability to replace earnings if they had to go on disability for six months or more.  

Almost eight in 10 (77 percent) employers surveyed refer to the role of a disability income insurance carrier as “very important” when brining employees back to work from a disability. An additional 22 percent and 55 percent, respectively, say the carrier’s role is “critical” and “important.”

“Keeping employees healthy and at work, or returning employees to work as quickly and safely as possible, has become a bigger imperative for employers as they attempt to keep costs down and manage productivity more effectively,” the report states. “Employers say they use their disability programs more and more to achieve these goals.”

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