Short term disability can be a very important employee benefit. Since the majority of disability claims last less than six months, a short term disability plan can be extremely beneficial.
STD plans are usually set up to include elimination periods for both accident and sickness. For example, a plan might have a 0/8 elimination period which means 0 day elimination for accidents and 8 days for sickness. Another alternative would be 1st day accident and 8 days for sickness.
Most short term disability plans will be written as a 13 week or 26 week benefit period. If the employer has a long term disability plan in force, the short term plan will pay benefits long enough to satisfy the elimination period of the long term plan.
It is important to note that STD plans pay benefits on a weekly basis. These benefits are taxable income to you because they are employer paid.
GROUP LONG TERM DISABILITY
Insuring your income could be one of the most important things you ever do.It is natural to insure your home, car and other valuables.Why not protect the funds that provide these items - your income?If you were to get sick or hurt were unable to work, would your Group Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance plan compensate you enough to cover your monthly bills?
Here are ten questions to help you develop a better understanding of your Group LTD insurance coverage.
- How long must I wait before collecting Group LTD insurance benefits?
- What percentage of pay if any will I receive during the waiting period?
- If partial benefits are provided, do I have to be totally disabled during the waiting period?
- What percentage of my pay will I receive from this benefit? What is the maximum monthly benefit? Is bonus income or incentive pay covered?
- How long will the plan cover me in my chosen occupation?
- Will the plan pay benefits if I am working at a reduced capacity?
- To what extent will I have to pay taxes on benefits received?
- To what extent will I be responsible for medical insurance premiums and other benefits previously provided by my employer?
- Will my benefits be adjusted for cost of living increases on an annual basis?
- Can I retain my coverage should I change employers?
If the answer to these questions are of concern to you, contact The Hancock Group at (814) 944-8849 for information on how you can insure your most valuable asset, YOU!
INDIVIDUAL LONG TERM DISABILITY
Long Term disability plans help protect employees in the event of a permanent and total disability.
Long term disability benefits are paid monthly which is different from short term benefits which are paid weekly. Usually, the LTD plan will have a 90 or 180 elimination period, the length of time you must remain disabled before you can go on claim.
Benefits will be paid for as long as you remain disabled up until age 65 or nowadays, your normal retirement date as defined by social security. Your particular benefit will be calculated as a percentage of your gross income. Normally those percentages are 60% or 66 2/3%.
Another important feature of a long term disability program is residual benefits. These are benefits that you would receive if you are only partially disabled or you have just returned from a total disability and are not quite 100%. Usually, you must have a reduction of income of at least 20% in order to qualify for residual benefits.
Group life insurance is a relatively inexpensive benefit that employers can provide for their employees. Group Life plans can be set up in different ways. An employer could choose a flat benefit amount or design the plan as a multiple of salary. For example, the plan could offer each employee a $10,000 benefit or it could be set up as 2 times salary.
It is important to note that all death benefits received from a group life plan are tax free benefits.
One of the best values in an employee benefits package today is vision insurance. It is a low cost benefit that almost all of your employees need. After all, how many people do you know who wear corrective lenses? In fact, currently 150 million Americans wear corrective lenses, with an annual cost of approximately $3 billion. Did you know that you could provide vision coverage for your employees for less than eleven cents per day? Well you can!!!
Helping employees take care of their vision is an important part of a well rounded benefits package. In fact, a 1999 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that more than half (58%) of businesses with fewer than 100 employees offer vision insurance. DO YOU???
If you are concentrating on only the medical portion of your employee benefits package, you may be overlooking an important benefit that your employees need and would greatly appreciate.
- Dental insurance is ranked as one of the most valued employee benefits. (Higher than paid sick leave and short and long-term disability.)
- Studies find that approximately 80% of employees feel that dental insurance was "important" to their decision to accept a job offer.
- Dental benefits help maintain productivity. Over 164 million hours are lost each year in the United States due to dental problems.
Dental insurance stands out to employees. It is a benefit that is greatly used and appreciated. There are many dental carriers out there with a large variety of plans and benefit structures. Options include voluntary plans and traditional employer sponsored plans with indemnity, PPO and DMO options. Let us help you find the plan that will best meet your financial and benefit needs!
Did you know that you can enhance your employee benefits package with little or no cost to your business? Are your employees asking for additional fringe benefits? Some want vision, others are asking for dental, life, disability or accident coverage's and at a time when you are already seeing double digit increases in your health insurance premium. There is a way to accommodate them and enhance your benefit package at little or no cost to your business. Voluntary benefits allow employees to purchase the type of ancillary benefits that are important to them.
An article in National Underwriter magazine reported that 66 percent of employees surveyed said that voluntary benefits are a good idea due to their value and convenience.
Employees appreciate voluntary benefits because they give them the ability to purchase individual products at group prices. Employees also enjoy the convenience of payroll deductions and not having to hassle with shopping around for their own individual coverages.
There are a number of different voluntary benefit products to meet your employees. The list includes:
- Voluntary Life
- Voluntary Disability
- Voluntary Dental
- Voluntary Vision
- Critical Illness Insurance
- Accident Insurance
- Cancer Insurance
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- And More...
Not sure which voluntary benefit products would best enhance your overall benefits package? Give us a call at The Hancock Group, Inc. We will be happy to help you design, implement and maintain a voluntary benefits package.