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CIGNA reveals new disability management service

CIGNA HealthCare : 08 May, 2007  (New Product)
CIGNA has introduced a new claim management service for employers in need of disability management expertise and is providing tools and information to support the Disability Insurance Awareness Month.
In about the time it takes to read this sentence, at least one person has suffered a disabling injury.

According to the National Safety Council, a disabling injury occurs every four seconds.

While such an injury might hinder a person's mobility or ability to participate in regular activities, importantly, it can dramatically affect a person's financial well-being if he or she is unable to continue working.

Nearly three in 10 workers entering the workforce today will become disabled before retiring.

And, disability causes nearly one half of all mortgage foreclosures.

Although many people have life insurance to protect them, disabilities are much more likely than death to cause mortgage foreclosure (Ref 1).

'At the most basic level, disability insurance provides valuable income protection in case a person is no longer able to work', said Karen Rohan, president of CIGNA Group Insurance, Dental and Vision.

'But it is important to understand the various aspects of disability benefits, like how much coverage is necessary, how it can be integrated with health benefits and the importance of return-to-work programmes'.

In support of Disability Insurance Awareness Month, CIGNA is providing greater access to information related to disability benefits, for both consumers and employers.

Disability Insurance Awareness Month is an industry wide campaign designed to get American workers to think about the need to protect their greatest asset - their ability to earn an income.

The campaign is being coordinated by the non-profit organization - Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE).

As part of its ongoing efforts to provide consumers with the information and tools they need to make smart benefits decisions, CIGNA has created an online Consumer Education Kit, that includes multi-media information about the importance of disability coverage, as well as a disability worksheet, a downloadable form that allows people to estimate how much coverage they would need in order to replace their income during a period of disability.

The kit adds to the comprehensive disability services already available from CIGNA.

These include:

Complex Claim Management: a new programme targeted to employers that self- insure short-term disability, this programme offers disability management expertise on a fee-for-service basis to help shorten disability durations with return-to-work management for the most complicated claims.

It allows employers to focus on their routine claims, while CIGNA's comprehensive resources are applied to those claims where they are most needed.

Manager's Disability Toolkit: a step-by-step, one-of-a-kind guide offering practical 'just in time' guidance to front-line supervisors and HR professionals on what to do during each phase of a disability absence, what to expect from CIGNA, and how to maximise return-to-work programmes.

Physician's Disability Toolkit: a web-based information site for health care providers and their office staff.

The toolkit helps medical staff understand the key elements of the disability management process that can aid in the treatment and return to work plan of their patients.

'There are a variety of factors that affect an employee's disability management and return to work, including the vocational rehabilitation resources available and the potential for integrating benefits', added Rohan.

'Because of our broad product portfolio and expertise, we are able to integrate disability and health care benefits, which we believe has the potential to lower employers' total benefits costs and help employees stay well and help disabled employees get back to work sooner'.

Ref 1 - Council for Disability Awareness

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