PHILADELPHIA, July 13, 2011 - Cigna (NYSE:CI) said today it has introduced a program to support the growing number of employers who seek to outsource the administration of leave provided under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and related state leave laws.
The number of employers that outsource the administration of these benefits has risen between 50 to 100 percent over the past few years, according to the benefits consultant Mercer1, at least in part due to the complex legal and compliance requirements of the federal law and associated state rules.
Family medical leave programs are very complex to administer. To help employers make a seamless transition from handling FMLA programs in-house to administration by an outside partner, Cigna has created a customizable on-boarding program for employers. The program first helps employers assess the costs and benefits of outsourcing leave administration. Cigna Leave Solutions® then assigns a dedicated FMLA implementation expert who works consultatively with clients on all aspects of developing their leave program and walks them step-by-step through the implementation process.
"The Cigna Leave Solutions® on-boarding process was developed based on what our clients told us they need," said Diane Russell, vice president of Group Insurance for Cigna. "We took a close look at our clients' most frequently asked questions and post-implementation pain points to develop a comprehensive and proactive process that addresses areas of concern or confusion in advance of the program's start date."
In addition, because most family medical leaves run concurrently with a short-term disability absence, employers that separate the two programs are potentially missing an opportunity to impact the overall cost of absence to their company's bottom line.
Cigna data show that employees on family medical leave were five times more likely to have a subsequent short-term disability claim than those not on family medical leave.
In addition, those on leave for a family medical reason were 50 percent more likely to have a subsequent short-term disability claim for behavioral illness than those on leave for other reasons. When combined with a comprehensive absence management program, family medical leave can be a potential front-line indicator of future leave disability absences.
"This kind of program helps employers maintain a healthy and productive workforce," Russell said. "An effective, integrated absence management program can identify health issues early on, provide support for employees to prevent more serious health problems from developing, and give people on disability leave the tools to return to work."
Cigna's FMLA on-boarding program includes:
- FMLA online training - Educational and interactive, this tutorial offers repeatable training to employers and their managers to build a strong baseline knowledge of FMLA topics.
- "Life of a Leave" online training - Cigna offers this tutorial to help a human resources or benefits manager understand Cigna's process for administering leaves, including the interaction with short-term disability and intermittent leave scenarios.
- Leave workflows - Because FMLA is complex, Cigna clearly defines the operational processes supporting the absence management program through each step and stage of its implementation.
- Leave Program Summary - A concise, two-page summary of the leave program that gives leaders an outline of the customized leave program that Cigna has designed for their organization.
- Program resource guide - Family medical leave administration is complex and involves many legal nuances based on state and federal laws, so Cigna provides a reference guide that covers topics specific to the customer's leave program.
1 "Survey on Absence and Disability Management 2010 Survey Report," Figure 18, page 18, June 14, 2011 http://www.mercer.us/articles/1418390
Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna offers products and services in 29 countries and jurisdictions and has more than 66 million customer relationships throughout the world. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by Cigna Corporation. Such operating subsidiaries include Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. To learn more about Cigna, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://www.cigna.com/newsroom/rss. Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna, visit Cigna's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/cigna and listen to Cigna's podcast series with healthy tips and information at http://www.cigna.com/podcasts or by searching "Cigna" in iTunes.