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.
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.
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.
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.