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Disability insurance costs affected by many health concerns

It doesn’t matter if you live in California or another part of the country, you have the right to purchase disability insurance. While some people buy coverage on their own, others receive a policy through their employer. Either way, this can come in handy should you be hit with a disability that keeps you from working.

According a study released by Mercer L.L.C., mental health conditions and cancer are the fastest growing conditions impacting the overall cost of disability insurance.

In the survey, more than 300 employers were asked questions related to disability insurance. Of those included, 22 percent said they noticed an increase in cancer-related claims and costs. Along with this, 20 percent noted that they have experienced an increased frequency in claims related to mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression.

When it comes to short term disability claims, musculoskeletal conditions unrelated to lower back pain are among the costliest.

While some employers are prepared for workers who take an absence for a disability and then return to work, most are not. Only 29 percent of companies said they have a return to work program for short term claims. Even worse, only 20 percent have a program in place for long term absences.

This story should be of interest whether you are a company owner, human resources professional, or employee.

Companies need to know the ins and outs of disability insurance and absences, while workers should know their rights as well. In the event of a denied claim, an employee may need to consult with an attorney.

Source:  Business Insurance, “Cancer, musculoskeletal injuries are biggest cost drivers for disability plans” Sheena Harrison, Mar. 16, 2014

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