CIGNA Helps Small Employers Cope with Disability Process

January 10, 2006 ( - CIGNA HealthCare has announced that it will use Social Service Coordinators Disability Services to help its newly disabled health care members working for smaller employers get Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits.

According to a    press release from CIGNA, the service will be free to the small employer, which often lacks the resources to help workers, or the member, who has been disabled because of a medical condition and does not have long-term disability insurance.

Once members are accepted into the SSDI program, they are then also eventually eligible for health care coverage through Medicare, according to the news release.

The program helps members obtain Medicare as well as cash benefits to help cover their increased medical expenses and lost income. It also protects their Social Security retirement benefits. For the employer, it potentially reduces their medical and pharmacy risk, CIGNA said.

“If you have ever had a debilitating medical condition, you know how difficult it can be to just cope with the condition, not to mention the anxiety of no longer having a regular income,” said Michael Showalter, CIGNA senior vice president for HealthCare Strategy and Marketing, in the news release. “This offering expands our health care advocacy programs by helping members understand that their payroll contributions to Social Security may make them eligible for these additional benefits.”