Dedicated approach to behavioral health claims leads to better return-to-work outcomes for Unum customers

A dedicated protocol for managing behavioral health claims is helping Unum (NYSE: UNM) customers experience more favorable return-to-work outcomes. Using a strategic mix of early intervention; triaged specialist support; and partnership among employers, medical experts, and vocational rehabilitation consultants, Unum has seen:

A 15 percent reduction in short term disability behavioral health claims transitioning to long term disability
More than five percent reduction in short term disability behavioral health claim duration
A 50 percent improvement in long term disability return-to-work success for part-time employment1
“Behavioral health issues may often be less visible than other disabilities — but they are no less serious,” said Lori Whynot, vice president of group and individual benefits at Unum. “No two behavioral health claims are alike, so customized return-to-work plans focused on removing barriers and stigma in the workplace and maintaining engagement and advocacy for the employee are key.”

Behavioral health claims encompass both mental health problems and substance abuse and addiction, and accounted for seven percent of long term disability claims and five percent of short term disability claims for Unum last year.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in five people experience mental health problems in a given year. The most common behavioral health conditions found in the workplace are depression, anxiety and substance abuse.

“For most people, work plays an important role in supporting and maintaining mental health, and we want to help people achieve their recovery goals,” Whynot said.

About Unum Group

Unum Group is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom and the leading provider of disability income protection in the world. Its businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life, Unum UK, and Unum Poland. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident and critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. Unum also provides stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against unanticipated medical costs. The company reported revenues of $11.6 billion in 2018, and provided $7.2 billion in benefits. 


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