Apr 22, 2024 - Health

The newest employer perk: Disability coverage for your kids

Illustration of a baby stroller with quarters for wheels.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Soon, your employer may help cover your bills in case your kid gets seriously sick or disabled.

Why it matters: A company called Juno said it's selling the first workplace benefit in the U.S. that kicks in cash assistance for caregiving-related expenses if a child develops a debilitating condition.

  • Disability coverage in the U.S. helps replace lost income for workers who can't be on the job. But when a child needs full-time care, that can also require pricey accommodations and may even force a parent to quit their job.
  • "It is the largest uncovered risk today for for parents," Hall Kesmodel, managing director at Juno, told Axios.

How it works: The new benefit covers conditions like cancer, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome and even long COVID, from birth to age 26.

  • It generally costs $16 per employee per month to provide coverage of $250,000 per child or $500,000 per family, paid out in monthly installments for up to 10 years.
  • Employers can kick in as little as $3 per month per person, and employees can purchase more coverage. It's about $24 for coverage of $500,000 per child or $1 million per family.

What they're saying: This coverage does appear to help fill a gap in the U.S. market, said Bridget Bearden of the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

  • "There is a true need to address what people are calling the caregiving crisis, not only for workers caring for parents or elderly, but those who have children who are disabled," she said.

Our thought bubble: There could also be greater need amid the rise in the average age for childbearing, which is associated with increased birth risks.

Go deeper