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2020 most successful year yet for Unum’s rehabilitation service: 95.1% of employees using it remained in or returned to work

  • Unum’s rehabilitation service offers employees return to work and wellbeing support before, during and after a claim from dedicated, in-house experts
  • The percentage of people using it who either remained in work or could return after a sickness absence grew year-on-year between 2016 and 20201, from 89% to 95.1%
  • The difficulties people experienced due to the pandemic were clear in 2020 - 50% of referrals to Unum’s rehabilitation services were for mental health concerns
  • There were 1,711 referrals to the service in 2020 for a range of conditions

2020 was Unum’s most successful year yet in terms of the percentage of people it helped either to stay in work or get back to work via its rehabilitation service.

Unum’s claims and rehabilitation service provides dedicated in-house experts including doctors, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational health professionals and more. 95.1% of employees who used the service remained in work or were able to return to work afterwards. This is a year-on-year increase between 2016 and 2020, showing continued improvement in Unum’s success rate in this area.

Unum achieved this against the backdrop of the pandemic, which saw the insurer quickly adapt its rehabilitation and wellbeing services to keep up with the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19.

New initiatives included the 1-2-1 Wellbeing Check, which offers bespoke support for employees facing challenges working from home, as well as new wellbeing workshops on topics such as thriving through change and lifestyle management.

Help@hand - Unum's virtual, added-value health and wellbeing app

With the pandemic disrupting face-to-face healthcare services and NHS waiting lists increasing, usage of Help@hand2, Unum’s virtual, added-value health and wellbeing app, surged. The app provides fast, direct access to five key services:

  • Unlimited 24/7 video GP appointments
  • Mental health treatment
  • Physiotherapy
  • Medical second opinions
  • An employee assistance programme offering life, money and wellbeing support.

In total, Help@hand has delivered more than 12,000 appointments to employees and their families3 across all five services*.

With the pandemic impacting businesses and their employers in a variety of ways, Unum offered support to its customers where they needed it the most. For example, Unum:

  • Extended access to Help@hand to its small business customers for free
  • Offered 95% of people requesting mental health support via Help@hand an appointment within 2 working days
  • Provided mental health and stress management training for almost 5,000 managers.

To see more, Unum has charted 2020, the year of the pandemic, from the first UK infection to the last lockdown of the year just after Christmas in this infographic, detailing how its services truly delivered value when customers needed it the most.

Paula Coffey, Unum’s Head of Claims, Rehab and Medical Services, comments:

“Unum is proud of its claims, rehabilitation and medical services. The scale of our operations and our dedicated, in-house medical professionals mean we can achieve positive outcomes for employees covered by one of our policies."

“We feel that our drive to make a difference to customers because we care about their lives came into its own during 2020, when we introduced various new initiatives or adapted existing ones to better serve people as the pandemic raged."

“Meanwhile, we’ve also been here for employers during the pandemic, helping companies across the UK, whether that’s with their return-to-work strategies, supporting their line managers and HR teams or any other needs. More than 15,000 people attended our wellbeing courses in 2020, 93% of whom rated them as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’."

“Helping employers as well as employees means we’ve been able to address pandemic-related concerns in the round, which we feel has achieved better outcomes for all Unum policyholders and their employees during what was a very difficult year for everyone.”

Unless otherwise stated, all figures are from Unum internal data 2020

1 Percentage of people who remained in or returned to work in 2016: 89%; in 2017: 91%; in 2018: 93.7%; in 2019: 94.8%
2 Help@hand is a virtual, value-added benefit service which connects the employees of Unum customers to third party specialists who can help manage their health and wellbeing, and that of their family. Access to the service is facilitated by Unum at no cost to the Unum customer. Unum is not the provider of the service but can withdraw or change the service at any time. The service is entirely separate from any insurance policy provided by Unum and is subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant third-party specialists. There is no additional cost or increase in premium as a result of Unum making this benefit available.
3 Employees and their partner (if applicable) will be able to access all Help@hand services. Children are eligible to access the remote GP and medical second opinion services up until their 18th birthday or 24th birthday if in full-time education. Children over 18 will be able to access the Life, money and wellbeing confidential helpline and other online resources.

* as of March 31 2021

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