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SUB CATEGORIES General  |  HIV |  Medical Schemes | 

Impact of HIV/AIDS on absenteeism

06 December 2004 Johnny Johnson

The absenteeism rate for people living with HIV/AIDS are 3 times higher than for those who are not HIV positive, according to a study conducted by AIC Insurance.

AIC insurance is a company specialising in the underwriting of the direct cost of absenteeism and proactively managing the time that employees are not at work.

In the study unique claims data were extensively analysed, says Johnny Johnson, CEO of the company. "Normally data from the fist day of illness is not recorded by insurance companies as their products traditionally do not provide a benefit from day one.  A deferred period, the minimum length of sickness necessary to admit a claim is not usually less than 7 days.  The
date on which this study was based measured sick leave from the first day of illness for the years 2001 to 2003."

 "Data from 60 employer groups totalling 25 282 life years were used. The data is predominantly from companies active in the motor and textile manufacturing industry in the Eastern Cape. The data established was then used to calibrate the projection model and to determine the expected trend of the epidemic on future absenteeism and resultant sick leave claims."

"It must be stated that this study relates to those people with advanced HIV-disease. Further research to establish absenteeism trends relating to people living with HIV, as opposed to those who do not know their status, as well as the impact on absenteeism relating to HIV positive people on anti-retroviral therapy is currently being conducted with an employer currently insuring with AIC."

"According to the result of the data analysis, a total of 32 work days were taken per year for those with advanced HIV-diseases. It was found that on average, people living with HIV/AIDS were absent 4.1 times a year and the average duration of each incidence was 7.8 days. This is nearly three times longer than absenteeism rates for people not HIV positive."

Real costs relating to absenteeism are often underestimated, says Johnson. "The indirect costs often exceed the direct costs and can add as much as 200 percent to the direct costs. HIV/AIDS, among other factors, could potentially have a devastating effect on the cost of absenteeism."

"To reduce the rate of absenteeism and the cost thereof is therefore essential. A solution has been to obtain insurance against losses and/or costs as a result of employee absenteeism."

AIC Insurance has therefore gone beyond simply providing absenteeism insurance and based on extensive research as reported on above, has developed and tested a sophisticated process that evaluates all the risks associated with absenteeism, says Johnson. "This product identifies all factors impacting on absenteeism and enables AIC Insurance to reduce the rate of absenteeism at no additional cost."

"The product, called the Corporate Absenteeism Protection Plan (CAPP), combines a risk assessment and management consulting process with an insurance product to provide the employer with an effective hedge against the direct cost of absenteeism."

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