Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers faced mounting concerns about the rise in mental health-related absences — many of which led to both short and long term disability claims.
Since March 2020, the Canadian medical system faced unprecedented access to care challenges. Many surgeries, specialist appointments, and treatment plans were significantly delay or even cancelled altogether.
While employers might have experienced a dip in extended health claims costs during 2020, this doesn’t indicate that employee health conditions don’t still exist or that new ones didn’t surface during the year. Employees may have been putting off their medical care appointments or were uncomfortable with the idea of virtual treatment options.
Additionally, what isn’t factored into the raw data is the impact of the pandemic and the downstream effects on our health care system.
In the past, issues regarding self medicating or lack of prescription medication adherence were factors du jour, but now, facing new and uncharted pandemic territory, group benefits and disability claims trends will have a significantly different story to tell. What that story is, no one can say with 100 percent certainty, but we do anticipate a number of questions.
As employers continue to navigate this ever-changing workforce landscape, the type and number of questions specific to how to manage and prevent disability claims are likely to increase.
These and other questions are fuelled by a series of complicating factors that include, but are not limited to, the following:
Now is an important time to revisit your disability management plan as well as any arrangements with service providers. We also invite you to connect with a trusted group benefits advisor to ensure your questions — like the ones featured in this post — are addressed. Having confidence in your support team is critical when facing a shifting health care landscape.
We’re here to help you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s work together and create solutions that work best for you and your organization.