Health insurance isn’t the only benefit you need to look at during the open enrollment season. According to the Business Group on Health, nearly half of large employers expect an increase in disability benefit claims due to complications from COVID-19, or what is often referred to as long-haul COVID.
If you’ve had COVID-19 and are worried about long-term complications, or have other long-term health issues, you may want to consider disability insurance coverage from your employer. If your employer offers a group policy that provides long-term disability insurance, they may pay the premiums or cover part of the costs. In other cases, you will have to pay the full premium, but you will likely pay less than what you would pay for an individual policy.
Group disability insurance generally pays you up to 60% of your salary in the event that you cannot continue working at your job, you cannot change jobs and the disability is expected to last at least one year. . Benefits are considered taxable income.
If you don’t have access to a group policy through work (or if you think the coverage isn’t enough), you can purchase a policy on your own. Premiums for an individual policy are based on your employment, the policy’s definition of disability, benefit amount, your gender and age, and other details of coverage, with the cost usually equal to 1 % to 3% of your annual salary.
Some policies, known as personal occupation policies, will provide coverage if you cannot work in your specific occupation, even if you can do other work. More restrictive policies, known as all occupations policies, will pay off if you are unable to work. These policies are generally less expensive than other options.
To compare policies, go to www.policygenius.com, an insurance comparison site. Or you can find an independent insurance agent at www.trustedchoice.com. Keep in mind that when you buy an individual policy, you will need to pass a medical exam.