From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Study Shows Benefit of Combining Insurance Coverage

Insurance group CIGNA recently released a study indicating that integrated disability and health care programs can potentially lower the total benefits cost to employers while also helping workers return to work sooner.

Reviewing 60,000 short term disability (STD) claims filed for workers with both CIGNA STD coverage with CIGNA health insurance, and for workers with CIGNA STD coverage and an alternative health care insurance provider, the company found that disability durations were 12 percent shorter and return-to-work rates were six percent higher when disability insurance and health care insurance were integrated.

The study also found that 26 percent of all medical episodes that lead to a disability come from chronic health issues including low back pain, but accounted for 56 percent of the medical costs associated with STD; that 45 percent of the expense of treating depression and mental health conditions stem from workers who suffer other disabilities including low back pain; and that the number one driver of disability and medical costs are musculoskeletal disorders.

This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2004-04-01.