The possibility of becoming disabled is very real for working Americans, and so are the financial consequences and costs associated with employee absence. Studies show that working-age adults are more likely to suffer from lengthy disabilities in any given year than they are to die. Unless it is offered through their employer, most adults have little, if any, disability insurance coverage.
Disability insurance is often one of the benefits that employees take for granted. Because of that, as annual benefit enrollment time approaches employees aren’t worried about examining the disability benefits available, but they should.
One of the main reasons employees overlook disability insurance is because they don’t think they’ll need it. Let’s review some of the most problematic myths related to disability insurance.
Myth: I’ll never need it or I’m too young
The chances of a disability are higher than people think. The Social Security Administration reports that one in four of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67. In addition, Unum reported that 41 percent of long-term disability recipients were younger than 50 and a third were younger than 40.
Myth: Most disabilities are from serious accidents or injuries
Only 9 percent of long-term disability cases are caused by accidents. The truth is illnesses are the leading causes of disability. Approximately 90 percent of disabilities are due to chronic conditions, such as back or joint pain, or cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Myth: Disability payments can’t be taxed
It is true that many types of disability insurance can be non-taxable; however, there is no “across the board” exemption for disability.
Myth: Social Security or Workers Compensation will cover my disability
Social Security benefits cannot be collected until the end of the fifth full month of disability – and only if you’re expected to be out of work for 12 or more months. It’s also difficult to get approved for Social Security disability benefits. In 2015, only 32 percent of workers who applied for Social Security benefits were approved.
Workers Compensation pays a benefit only if an accident or illness occurs on the job. Fewer than 5 percent of disability accidents and illness are work related.
Most Americans are financially unprepared for a disability, which lasts 34.6 months on average. And most underestimate their risk for a disability. Disability benefits along with relevant and meaningful education will help employees better prepare for the unexpected.
Get more facts at: www.disabilitycanhappen.org/docs/disability_stats.pdf
There are over 76 million baby boomers today over age 50. And the first of the 82.1 million generation x-ers are about to reach that milestone. One thing all generations have in common is the desire to stay active and healthy for as long as possible.
The secret to aging well is to establish a healthy lifestyle early, and stick to it as you grow older. These six healthy lifestyle ideas from Healthy Aging are sure to help:
Take cat naps: Naps are beneficial for people of all ages, not just toddlers. A study revealed people who take naps are 37 percent less likely to die from heart disease.
Mix and mingle with the right crowd: Your mind plays an important role in your ability to age well and maintain a high quality of life. Being engaged and maintaining positive social connections can help you retain cognitive function as you age. Surround yourself with positive people who help lift you up and encourage you to follow your dreams.
Stay active and exercise regularly: Being active is also important for health and longevity. Regular physical activity reduces your risk of dying from heart disease, and decreases your risk for colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular exercise also offers the following health benefits:
Set realistic goals: Make a plan to clearly define where you are going and how you will get there. Research has shown those who have a clear sense of purpose and drive have a less chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Budget and spend your money wisely: Create a budget to track where your money is going. Try to cut down your expenses. Not being able to afford the things you want to do in life can add stress your life.
Eat foods that give you natural energy: Proper nutrition is vital to maintaining good health. Follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fiber, and reduce fat and sugar intake. Improving your diet could extend your life and reduce the occurrence of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The role of HR continues to change – from coach, counselor, employee advocate, and strategist. HR’s effectiveness requires an understanding of the hospital’s strategic direction, as well as the ability to influence key policies and decisions. While HR leaders have many initiatives, fostering a culture that builds leadership skills and engages the entire workforce is key to success.
Staffing issues remain a top challenge. Significant pressure is on hospitals and health care providers to replace aging baby boomer employees. At the same time, the number of people requiring health care services is increasing. This gap between supply and demand is one of human resources greatest challenges.
With thousands of baby boomers retiring every month, an incredible amount of knowledge is being lost. Salaries have done little to help retain these valuable employees; however, keeping boomers from completely exiting the workforce and staying engaged is important area of focus.
As the economy stabilizes, more employees are willing to change jobs, often citing lack of advancement opportunities, workload, and salary. Retaining employees plays a crucial role in patient satisfaction, organizational culture, and quality of care.
HR leaders must tackle both challenges by fostering environments that promote advancement and training opportunities. One way to achieve this is to pair experienced employees who may be nearing retirement with new hires to develop and implement coaching or mentoring programs. These programs will help build needed leadership skills and positively impact strategic planning, staff engagement, and the hospital’s overall performance.
A competitive compensation and benefits strategy helps attract qualified employees needed to provide care to a growing patient population, but what more can HR hospital leadership do to stay ahead of the challenge?