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This site is an archive of our Well Written Blog posts until April 2020. For the most up-to-date content visit NWIJournal.com.

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5 Top Causes of Disability

Posted By Chuck Gillespie , Friday, May 17, 2019
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2019

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Each May for Disability Insurance Awareness Month, Unum releases its top causes of disability to shed a light on what causes one in four workers a career derailment. What are the top five disabilities?  The trend you will see is how much lifestyle plays a major role in disability.  What can we do better? A lot, but it begins with good training and education


Let’s review the top causes of a disability:

5.  Joint disorders 

Biggest prevalence of these types of claims are the result of higher rates of obesity and the aging workforce.  

4. Back Disorders

Over the last decade, long-term back injuries have decreased 14%. The fact that treatment has reduced the problems.  At the same time, the biggest causes of back strain are a lack of strength and poor lifting habits.  Still in that lifestyle category. 

3. Injury

90% of accidents and injuries are caused on the job.  Typically, this will cause insurance hits on your workers comp claims as well as hitting your health insurance.  Accidents will occur, but good safety program and keeping a focus on having employees, no matter their job, fit for duty.  

2. Cancer

This is the #1 cost factor for both short and long term disability.  Many cancers are lifestyle related, but the biggest concern is that cancer claims have increased 10% over the last decade.  

1. Pregnancy

This one is a “disability” that all of us should be excited about and a great way to help new parents out.  Technically, it is a lifestyle related disability, but the good kind.  


Lifestyle plays a huge role in your disability insurance coverage, but changing lifestyles goes beyond smoking cessation, physical activity and diet programs.  Leaders in health and wellness to understand how poor choices are affected by social, environmental, cultural, and personal issues that limits the ability to make these changes.  These social determinants of health have become a cornerstone in how insurance carriers are predicting outcomes.  How are you using social determinants of health? 

Expecting and realizing fiscal impact on heath and workers compensation claims by just offering a program is not going to net you substantial savings – the research is clear on this.  The programs must coincide with a healthy atmosphere at work and (if possible) at home – that is when you see the positive budgetary outcomes.  Wellness works, but only when wellness is a culture strategy and not a health care cost savings program.

Chuck Gillespie is Executive Director of the National Wellness Institute.

Tags:  Disability  Injury  Insurance 

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What You Need to Know About Health Insurance from an Insider (March 2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012

A recent interview published in the New York Times conducted by Walecia Konrad with a 20-year health insurance veteran, Wendell Potter, left readers with the following advice:

  • Ignore marketing materials when looking for affordable insurance. Don’t be persuaded by slick messages; instead, make sure you understand the coverage.
  • Read everything carefully, even if you are covered by your employer.
  • Be wary of mini-med or limited benefits plans. Many have very low-lifetime caps and others do not pay for hospitalization. The health law eliminates these plans in 2014, when no lifetime or annual caps on coverage will be allowed, but in the meantime these policies trouble me a great deal. And the insurance industry will lobby heavily for more flexibility to offer limited benefits even after 2014. So, be on guard.
  • Visit healthcare.gov to get straightforward information on plans. The industry must comply by supplying accurate information for this site.
  • High deductible plans have good and bad points. Consumers should do their best to know exactly what they can afford. If the out-of-pocket costs are going to be impossible for you, it may well make sense to pay more in premiums for more extensive coverage. For the most part, high deductibles make sense only for the young and healthy or wealthy.
  • Consumers have a right to appeal when coverage is denied. With the new law, all consumers will have access to two layers of review. That’s a significant victory.Most important, if you feel you have been denied something you should have and that your doctor has prescribed and approved, don’t accept the denial as the last word. Insurers count on people just giving up.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/health/19patient.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=health

Tags:  Emotional  Healthcare  Insurance  March 2011  Physical  Policy  Work 

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