Health and Dental Coverage for Disabled Employees

When one of your employees becomes disabled and has been approved for Long Term Disability the employer needs to decide what happens with their health and dental benefits. As an employer, there are a number of questions to consider, such as:

  • Should health and dental benefits terminate for an employee who becomes disabled?
  • Will the cost of carrying the benefits for the disabled employees impact your ability to provide a competitive and affordable program for active employees?

If you have decided to continue health and dental benefits, then you need to consider the length of time you are willing to provide these benefits for disabled employees. Some options to consider are: 

  • Continue the benefits on the same basis as if the disabled employee was an active full time employee 
  • Provide benefits for a disabled employee for a specific period of time
  • Provide benefits based on a graded schedule, based on years of employment. A sample schedule could be similar to the following: 

Things to note when considering the continuation of health and dental benefits: 

  • Employees can be required to continue to pay their portion of the health and dental premiums
  • In order for an employee to be removed from the plan all together, the employee must be terminated 

For more information on extending health and dental benefits, please contact our office.

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.