Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield says employers miss the mark by not offering disability insurance
(Denver) – (May 3, 2017) – Many employers are upping the ante with trendy wellness benefits in an attempt to attract and retain younger employees, but a new survey* shows that they may be missing a key opportunity.
The survey, conducted in honor of May as Disability Insurance Awareness Month, found that 35 percent of Millennials (ages 18 – 34) have turned down a job offer either fully or partially due to the fact that they were dissatisfied with insurance offerings, compared to 27 percent of U.S. respondents overall.
While trendy offerings like in-office massages, fitness classes and extra time off might help lower employee stress levels, the number one stress-causing factor in America is still money.
The Millennial generation seems particularly inclined to watch their wallets, as the survey found they are more likely than the previous generation (29 percent 18 – 34 year-olds vs. 19 percent 35 – 54 year-olds) to have engaged in long-term financial planning over the past year. This fact underscores that disability insurance, which protects a person’s income when they are unable to work due to injury or illness, should be a critical part of a benefits package and of significant importance to younger workers. While a free massage at work might get the knots out of your back, disability insurance can better position you for long-term financial health.
“We understand that money can be a huge cause of stress for many people no matter their age, and disability insurance is a way to alleviate that worry and prevent many of the other health problems high stress can cause,” said Mike Wozny, president of Anthem Life Insurance Company. “That’s why it is important to recognize financial planning as an important component coordinated with a comprehensive health care plan.”
For many living paycheck to paycheck, an injury or illness that leaves them unable to work could have innumerable negative outcomes, not the least of which is moving back in with mom and dad.
Of survey respondents who did not have disability insurance, many reported lacking coverage because either their employer did not offer it (53 percent) or because it was too expensive (32 percent). What they may not know is that for less than the price of one yoga class, workers of all ages can buy disability insurance benefits that can protect against loss of income .
For employers, offering disability and medical benefits from one insurance company can also help save money by helping employees get back to work sooner and by reducing benefits administration costs. More than half of employers using this combined benefits approach saw medical claims-based savings, according to an August 2015 study by Employee Benefit News.
“Disability benefits protect financial wellness, but they are also an important part of overall health and wellbeing,” said Wozny. “We recognize that physical, emotional and financial health is interconnected, and by treating the whole patient, healthcare professionals of all specialties can help patients get better faster and also save money in the process.”
*Survey commissioned by Anthem, Inc. This report presents the findings of an online omnibus survey using the field services of YouGov, from March 15 – 16, 2017. Data was collected among 905 U.S. adults, ages 18+ across the country. All survey respondents work at a company with at least two employees. Statistical significance testing for this survey was done at a 95 percent confidence level and margin of error was +/- 3 percent. This means that if we were to replicate the study, we would expect to get the same results within 3 percentage points 95 times out of 100.