There’s an endless tide of flow-on effects from the stark growth in the volume of claims across the life insurance sector. While it’s encouraging that more Australians are becoming aware of the availability of their life insurance benefits, the rise in disability claims in particular places enormous financial and societal pressure on funds, insurers, reinsurers, employers, members and families.
At a time when pricing pressure is becoming more evident across the industry, rehabilitation services form part of the solution for superannuation funds.
Returning to work can be one of the best treatments for members suffering an injury or illness, primarily by restoring their sense of identity and self-esteem. However, it’s important the transition back to work is managed appropriately, taking into consideration the member’s medical situation, workplace arrangements and personal circumstances.
Evidence shows the key to successful rehabilitation and returning members to work is early intervention. After just 20 days of an employee ceasing work, their chance of returning to work is 70 per cent; after 45 days off work, the chance of returning is 50 per cent; and after 70 days off work, the chance of returning is 35 per cent*. So engaging with members early in the process and working with them upfront to support any transition back to work is key to successful rehabilitation.
AIA Australia’s approach to rehabilitation is tailored to the individual member. Rehabilitation programs may involve providing career advice, working with the member’s allied health professional, conducting work-site visits to identify suitable duties and workplace adjustments, exercise or work-conditioning programs and any other areas specific to the member’s needs.
Rehabilitation has a growing role to play in the overall life insurance service offering, and the more the industry invests in this area, the greater the benefits for super funds, employers and ultimately members.
*‘Factors Affecting Return to Work after Injury: A study for the Victorian WorkCover Authority’. Melbourne: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; 2002.
|Day 2 newsletter from CMSF 2013|
|Day 1 newsletter from CMSF 2013|