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proactive procedures and programs for older employees.

Health Care and Increased Disability

Health care and increased disability concerns carry a major impact on the entire company.  The University of Wisconsin has demonstrated that a strong correlation exists between age and disability (Engineering, 2001).  The study shows the occurrence of disability among working Americans as the following statistics: 9.5 percent in the 18- to 24-year-old range, 21 percent in the 45- to 54-year-old range, 42 percent in the 65- to 75-year old range and 64 percent in the 75+ age range. The study has found that older people often face multiple and chronic disabling conditions.

The health of the workforce not only affects the effectiveness of the workforce but also impacts insurance rates. The insurance company offers an equal rate for every employee; these group rates are usually less than individual insurance plan rates. The company determines the rates by the average age and health of the group rather than by the individual. With an aging workforce, healthcare and life insurance premiums will increase due to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality of the entire workforce. An aging workforce tends to lead to an increase in short term and long term disability claims and the increase of a loss of a valuable employee. An employer can do little to avoid such losses, and most times the employer passes these losses onto the younger employees as higher premiums and increased workloads. The reduction of health has provided employers a unique benefit of helping to retain employees with better and more focused programs for healthcare and disabilities.