What Is Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance pays out to an employee of your business who is unable to work because of illness or injury. Typically this payout is equal to 60 percent of their typical salary and is often paid as tax-free income.
While employees can take out personal disability insurance themselves, businesses that pay for a disability insurance plan as part of their employee benefits package often find that it is a great way to recruit staff and make them feel valued.
Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance Options
When choosing a plan for your employees, you can offer just short-term insurance coverage (which is usually capped at six months) or long-term insurance coverage (which runs for several years or even until retirement age). Other disability insurance options include payments that specifically cover the employee’s mortgage or other loans.
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One of the main factors in attracting and retaining good employees is the benefit program offered by employers. This typically starts with your group health insurance plan.
Regardless of the company’s financials, there are ways to make health insurance available to your employees and their dependents. Offering health insurance doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many solutions available to small, mid-size, and large employers.
When employees are worried about their financial situation, they may not be as productive. Many individuals today do not have life insurance or adequate savings to cover final expenses, which places additional stress on employees and/or their families when the need arises.
A group life insurance plan can put your employees’ minds at ease, knowing their family will have resources available when they need them. Policies can also include a dependent benefit to help the employee pay for expenses if their dependent passes. Another solution is to offer a voluntary life benefit whereby the employee pays a lower premium through payroll deduction than they would if they found coverage on their own. Group life insurance is also tax deductible.
Many employers are faced with offering lower wages than their competitors and find it difficult to find and retain qualified workers.
Offering a short-term and/or a long-term disability program can provide prospective and current workers with another form of financial stability. An employee may be offered a higher wage elsewhere, but are they offered protection if that paycheck stops due to pregnancy, illness, or other disability? How will they pay the mortgage or other bills? Employers offering a disability plan can provide peace of mind to their employees and gain an advantage over those that don’t.
Failure to have regular dental checkups can lead to more serious problems than a toothache.
Offering dental coverage to your employees can help encourage them to see a dentist on a regular basis. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease as well as diabetes. Catching these issues early not only helps your employees’ health, it may help reduce your long-term health insurance costs before a big claim hits!
Similar to dental coverage, if your employees are not getting regular eye exams, they may have underlying medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes that can surface later at a greater expense to your medical plan.
Offering vision care coverage is a very affordable component to offering health benefits. It’s an inexpensive portion of the benefit package with a high value of return and can help offset the impact of increased medical costs, becoming a cost-effective, early intervention tool.
Not being able to meet an employee’s individual needs can pose a threat to worker retention and attracting new talent, both of which can be costly to your bottom line.
Offering voluntary coverage lets your employees choose benefits that are important to them. It’s a cost-effective way to provide a variety of benefits at little or no impact to your monthly premiums. Examples of voluntary coverage include:
- Critical illness, hospital indemnity, and cancer coverage.
- Life, dependent life, short-term, and long-term disability coverage.
- Dental care.
- Vision care.
Compliance audits are increasing and Department of Labor fines can be costly. Do you have all of the documents and paperwork at your fingertips should you receive an audit letter?
A good benefits broker will educate you on the compliance pieces so that you are prepared for that dreaded day. A wrap document covers most of what is required and the remaining forms should be readily accessible with proof of distribution to employees and/or eligible participants.
Providing Employees the Opportunity to Fully Recover
Offering disability insurance is also a great way to ensure that injured or sick employees take the time necessary to properly heal, and then return to work in good physical shape and without stress. This prevents employees from rushing back to work before they are fully healed, which could worsen their condition and prolong their recovery times in the future.
Different From Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance
It’s important not to confuse disability insurance with some other programs. It is different from workers’ compensation insurance (a mandatory insurance program paid for by employers that pays out if an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness) and social security disability insurance (a government program for people with serious long-term conditions or disabilities who are unable to take on employment).
Want to know more about disability insurance for your employees? Request a free disability insurance quote below, and an MSIG benefits specialist will be happy to walk through your options!
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As an independent agency, we are here to help you find the right coverage.