We all know the adage “time is money” — which couldn’t be truer for benefit brokers. Time spent helping with the intricacies of group disability policies can keep you away from doing what you want: meeting new clients and making new sales.

These days, disability carriers can do more for you than just offer insurance products. With their group disability offerings, some carriers are providing services that can help ensure your clients are getting the most value from their benefits. This can be especially helpful for small business clients who might not know what to do when an employee is facing a disability leave.

Rather than have employers rely on you to guide them through disability leave questions and nuances, consider the ways you can work with a carrier that offers resources to help. It will not only take work off your plate the next time a client has a claim issue, but also position you as an above-and-beyond service provider.

Guidance through the process

Many clients don’t know where to start to help an employee who is working through a disabling condition, let alone know how to proceed with a short- or long-term disability claim.

Some disability carriers have consultants (vocational, nurse or mental health case managers) who can do this for you. Consultants will work with HR managers to talk through each employee issue and work together with human resources, the employee and even the employee’s medical team to find a solution — be it an ergonomic accommodation, temporary job schedule or return-to-work plan.

Navigate additional offerings

In today’s wellness-minded world, employers understand they should provide extra resources to employees — such as employee assistance, wellness and/or disease management programs — in addition to their health and disability insurance benefits. But do they know how and when to properly tap these programs when employees need them?

Enter the carrier’s consultants. A consultant can help ask the health-related questions an HR manager might not feel comfortable with. Some carriers will even help make the connection with health insurance plans and benefits offered through other carriers.

Offer an objective view

In addition to being point people for your clients, these consultants can work directly with employees who are out on a disability leave or are working through a disabling condition. Consultants can help employees navigate the claims process, work directly with their medical team to mitigate a health-related concern and work with employers to implement solutions that can keep employees at work and productive, if appropriate.

Allowing direct access between carrier resources and clients won’t just save you time — it can help reduce instances of disability in the workplace. By addressing these issues early, you can help your clients diminish the need for an employee to file a disability claim.

Kost is Workplace Possibilities program manager, Standard Insurance Company.

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