Health and Dental Coverage for Disabled Employees

Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan 

What happens when one of your employees becomes disabled and has been approved for Long Term Disability (LTD)? Do their health and dental benefits continue indefinitely? How do you balance your corporate responsibility and your fiscal responsibility?

Whatever your firm's position is, it is important that you have a formal continuation of benefits provision that clearly states what the policy is for all employees.

As an employer, ask yourself: 

  • Should health and  dental benefits terminate for an employee who becomes terminated?
  • Disabled employees tend to have a greater need for health coverage than active employees; would you end benefits for someone in that situation?
  • Will the cost of carrying the benefits for disabled employees impact your ability to provide an affordable program for active employees?
  • What are the legal and moral implications of your policy?

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan allows the employer to continue health and dental benefits for disabled employees, however it is important to consider the length of time your company will provide these benefits for. 

Options to consider: 

  • Continue the benefits on the same basis as if the disabled employee was a full-time active employee
  • Provide benefits for a disabled employee for a specific period of time (i.e. one or two years from the date the employee completes the LTD elimination period) 
  • Provide benefits based on years of employment. As the duration period can vary, please see the following example

Whatever you and your company decide to do, your development of a formal company policy will be based on the relative importance you place on these three issues:

  • The ongoing financial resources you are willing to commit to disabled employees
  • Your corporate responsibility as an employer to look after employees during extended periods of disability 
  • The impact that a policy could have on employee morale and employees' attitudes towards you as an employer

Though it can be difficult to establish a policy, you can fulfill your corporate and fiscal responsibilities in a manner that will be seen as fair and equitable for everyone.