Employers and their advisors should be proactively addressing how their employee benefit programs can help address long COVID.  (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

In a recent article, “The voluntary benefits industry has changed,” Richard (RAE) Egleston of Gallagher discussed how COVID-19 has pushed our business out of the comfort zone, resulting in significant changes. The article inspired me to think about other ways in which the pandemic is disrupting our business.

One COVID-19 consequence that may have a lasting, material effect on the employee benefits and insurance business is still emerging: “long COVID” or “post-COVID-19 syndrome.” What is long COVID? It is a long-lasting syndrome of COVID-related symptoms, including shortness of breath, dizziness, cough, fever, fatigue, and cognitive “brain fog.” The symptoms may even include residual heart, lung, kidney or brain damage. These symptoms can cause continuing medical expenses, loss of work or diminished productivity at work, plus mental stress and exhaustion.

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