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Disability Insurance Improves Financial Wellness

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Disability insurance gives consumers financial security through income protection if the unexpected occurs.

However, one in three working Americans don’t have adequate disability coverage. That places strain on both the consumer and the employer.

(Related: Maybe Employers Are Ready to Be Aware of Disability Insurance)

That’s why it’s important for you to help educate individual clients about how disability insurance can lessen the burden of an unexpected emergency, and to educate employer clients about how disability insurance can protect employees.

  1. Financial stability impacts overall wellness in all employees.

Wellness programs often focus on physical goals and productivity, but financial wellness can have a large impact on overall health too.

Recent survey results reveal that just over 40% of Americans agree that finances play a “big role” in their health and wellness.

Disability insurance safeguards consumers if they’re unable to work due to an injury or illness, resulting in financial peace of mind and security.

Offering disability coverage and educating employees about its value is a simple investment you can make toward wellness, productivity and overall health.

  1. Millennials need more education

Limited product awareness and understanding of benefits highlight the need for personalized education and tailored health plan strategies that meet specific consumer needs.

Surveys have found that only 39% of millennials (workers ages 18-34) think short-term disability insurance is important to financial well-being, and over one-third (38%) say they are not very familiar with either long-term disability insurance or short-term disability insurance.

That’s a troubling statistic, particularly because one in four of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.

The disconnect between millennials’ awareness of disability risk and their actual exposure to disability risk leaves your millennial clients vulnerable and unprotected, highlighting the need for disability insurance education before they’re unable to come to work.

  1. Integrated disability and medical benefits maximize coverage

Every disability claim requires a doctor visit, so it makes sense for disability and medical plans to communicate with each other. Integrated health care solutions, like those offered by Anthem’s affiliated health plans, support holistic care while simplifying the consumer experience. This team-based clinical approach allows care providers to share information and work hand-in-hand to enable employees to get healthy and return to work faster.

Integrated health care solutions also streamline administration and increase efficiencies for employers, which can lead to significant savings—up to 9% lower disability costs year over year and 25% in medical claim savings.

Connecting disability coverage with medical plans can actually result in earlier detection of disease, better consumer engagement in wellness programs and lower medical costs for those who meet with a disability case manager. In fact, 24% of short-term disability claimants return to work early when disability and medical benefits are integrated.

My company, Anthem, strives to make health care simpler, more accessible, and more affordable. We understand that physical, emotional and financial health are interconnected, and that an integrated approach to benefits leads to a healthier, more productive workforce. We encourage agents and brokers to consider what they can do to expand use of disability insurance, and for employers to consider what they can do to help employees get back to health, back to work and back to life when facing a disability.

Greg Poulakos (Photo: Anthem)

Greg Poulakos is president of Anthem Life. He is based in Atlanta.

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