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automatic enrollment for disability insurance

Helping Maine employees make the best choice

employees want disability coverage - but they neglect to enroll



88% of workers think all employers should offer disability insurance1



56% even say they'd pay the full premium2



Only 26% actually sign up, risking their incomes should they become too ill or injured to work3

Automatic enrollment overcomes the obstacles

It's easy.

Employees can get this important coverage without lifting a finger.

It's legal.

All benefit plans can use the automatic enrollment method.4

The U.S. Department of Labor has reinforced that employers can design their own ERISA plans and use automatic enrollment for disability benefits they deem in their employees’ best interest.5

It works.

When it's used with retirement plans, automatic enrollment has been shown to double the number of employees who participate.6

maine legislation leads the way.

New legislation in Maine7 encourages employers to automatically enroll employees in short and long term disability insurance, so more people can protect their income with this important coverage.

Tax credits

The legislature sent a strong signal about the importance of disability coverage by including tax credits for employers who enroll employees in new disability coverage.

The credit is $30 per newly enrolled employee (not enrolled in a group disability plan in the prior tax year). An employer can claim this credit for up to three consecutive years.

Requirements for opting out

According to the law, employers can consider that the employee has agreed to pay the premium for coverage as long as the enrollment "allows employees to opt out of coverage and an appropriate time period for employees to voluntarily terminate coverage."

Employers have to notify employees about the coverage and their options for declining or canceling it at least 30 days before their first payroll deduction, and again at least 10 days before.

Which plans qualify?

The plan must be a Maine-sitused, certified, employer-sponsored, group short-term or long-term disability insurance plan. It can be employer-paid or employee-paid, or have a shared payment structure. It must allow employees to opt out of coverage.

Short term disability

Long term disability

Income replacement

short term disability

at least $200 per week

long term disability

at least 50% of pre disability income prior to any offsets

Benefit period

short term disability

at least 6 months

long term disability

at least 24 months

Elimination period

short term disability

no more than 30 days

long term disability

no greater than 185 days

Establishment date

short and long term disability

Established or reopened for enrollment after January 1, 2017

Opt-out provision

short and long term disability

Must allow employees to opt-out

Information requirements

short and long term disability

Must notify employees about coverage and opt-out process at least 30 days - and 10 days before their first payroll deduction

Plan type

short and long term disability

Employer-sponsored group plan

Frequently Asked Questions


What if I prefer to let my employees choose?


Whether you require employees to opt in or opt out of coverage, they're making a choice. Employees are free to decline auto-enrolled insurance, and they can cancel their coverage at any time.


Do employees really need disability insurance?


Most Americans lack the savings to stay afloat without their paychecks. Research shows that 67% of U.S. workers would find it somewhat or very difficult to meet current financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed by one week8. Long term disability customers who received benefit payments have told us that the coverage prevented more than 50% of them from missing mortgage/rent payments, having to move out of their home, or missing other bills9.


What happens if an employee is enrolled, but doesn't want the coverage?


Employees can cancel their coverage at any time, just by notifying Unum. Compare that to the hassle of trying to enroll an employee who has missed open enrollment. Or the pain of talking to an employee who didn't enroll, but now can't pay the bills due to missed work after an injury or illness.


Does automatic enrollment increase our administrative burden?


Not at all. In fact, automatic enrollment makes enrollment easier for employers AND employees. And with Unum, you'll have all the resources you need to fulfill requirements like those set forth in the Maine legislation. Because we were able to provide input to this law, we fully understand Maine's legislation.