EMPAQ
Metrics

About Short-Term Disability

Short-term disability (STD) provides income replacement to employees disabled due to non-occupational injury or illness. It may also supplement workers' compensation benefits for lost time due to occupational injuries or illnesses.

STD provides wage replacement to cover employee absences that are longer than incidental sick day occurrences, but fall short of qualifying for long-term disability coverage. While the definition of STD remains consistent within the field of benefits management, there are some variations of its implementation among individual companies. For example, some companies may start paying STD benefits only after banked sick days run out, whereas other companies may not require an employee to exhaust his/her sick days before receiving STD benefits.

STD benefits are typically paid for 6 to 12 months, but they may be paid for as few as 2 months or as long as 2 years. Benefits typically start after an elimination period is satisfied. The elimination period is the waiting time prior to when disability benefits commence. If an employee has been hospitalized for an illness or an accident, the elimination period may be waived.

STD benefits include the following:

  • Statutory disability benefits in five states (CA, RI, HI, NY, and NJ) plus Puerto Rico.
  • Salary continuation plans that typically pay from the first day of absence and may include incidental sick days.
  • STD plans that may or may not be retroactive to the first day of absence after satisfying the elimination period.
  • STD plans with a varying elimination period that only pay after banked sick days or extended illness days run out.
  • STD plans with varying relapse rules that may bridge benefit limits between two periods of absences.

EMPAQ® Metrics

EMPAQ® metrics are ratios (i.e. numerators over denominators) that can be used to calculate the effectiveness of health and productivity management programs. They establish a consistent method for measuring cost, utilization and other performance issues.

EMPAQ® STD Metrics

Click here for a copy of the EMPAQ® Data Dictionary, which contains detailed definitions of all of the metrics, data elements and plan design questions.

There are 9 EMPAQ® STD metrics that fall into 2 categories (Cost and Productivity and Return-To-Work).

Cost and Productivity Metrics

Metric Ratio Explanation
Annual Claim Incidence per 100 Employees
Average Claim Incidence = Total Number of New STD Claims

Average Number of STD
Covered Employees
× 100
This metric calculates the number of new claims incurred per 100 STD covered employees during a defined period of time.
Average Claim Duration
Average Claim Duration = Total Number of Calendar Days (duration) Associated with
Closed STD Claims

Total Number of Closed STD Claims
This metric calculates the average number of days lost from work (due to closed STD claims) per closed STD claim. The lost time includes the elimination period, from the first day that an individual becomes disabled for work (due to an STD-covered illness or injury) through the last date of the claim.
Lost Workdays
per 100 Employees
Lost Workdays per 100 Employees = Number of Lost Workdays (STD)

Average Number STD
Covered Employees
× 100
This metric calculates the number of workdays lost due to STD, excluding the elimination period, per 100 employees for a defined period of time.
Cost per Employee
Cost per Employee = Total Benefits Paid

Average Number STD
Covered Employees
This metric calculates the cost of STD per covered employee for a defined period of time.
Cost per Active Claim
Cost per Active Claim = Total Benefits Paid

Total Number of Active
STD Claims
This metric calculates the cost of STD benefits per active STD claim for a defined period of time.
Cost per Closed Claim
Cost per Closed Claim = Total Benefits Paid for
Closed STD Claims

Total Number of Closed STD Claims
This metric calculates the cost per closed STD claim during a defined period of time.
Annual STD Maternity Claim Incidence
Annual STD Maternity Claim Incidence = Total Number of New STD Maternity Claims

Total Number of Active
STD Claims
× 100
This metric calculates the percent incidence of STD maternity claims for the reporting period.

Return-to-Work (RTW) Metrics

An employee may return to work after being disabled due to an STD-covered illness or injury in a modified capacity. The employee may work reduced hours or be unable to complete their assigned duties. EMPAQ® RTW metrics help measure the utilization and effectiveness of RTW programs.

Metric Ratio Explanation
RTW Claim Percentage
RTW Claim Percentage = Number of Claims Return-to-Work Transitional Duty

Total Number of Active Claims
This metric calculates the percentage of total active STD claims in which employees have returned to work via transitional duty (RTW) for a defined period of time.
RTW Transitional Workdays Percentage
RTW Transitional Workdays Percentage = Total Number of Workdays, Employees on Return-to-Work Transitional Duty

Total Number of Total Lost Workdays
This metric calculates what percentage of lost workdays can be attributed to employees on RTW transitional duty, for a defined period of time.

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