Christa Raddatz has been working for Baloise for 40 years. For the last seven years, she’s been one of eight case managers at Baloise Switzerland, providing people with support as and when they need it. In this article, Christa. shares her experiences of helping to get insured persons back to work.
Our customers are part of a supportive community. We support each other – as in the area of insurance of persons, for example: daily sickness allowance insurance ensures continued salary payment in the event of illness. Accident insurance provides financial cover in the event of accidents and, together with an occupational pension, constitutes the Pillar 2 of the Swiss pension system. Preventing long absences and disability is hugely important for the individuals concerned, their employers and society as a whole, and is an essential part of a sustainable system.
As part of these benefits, Baloise supports insured persons, helping them back into working life. In addition to a detailed examination of a benefit case, this may also include extensive reintegration within the framework of our case management services.
Is reintegration management all about cutting costs?
“It’s about finding a balance,” responds Christa. “In addition to the economic factors we have to take into account, we also have a social responsibility. Many people gain their self-esteem to a large extent through their work, and finding a sustainable way back into their job is essential for them.”
In the case of absence due to illness, an employer is only obliged to pay wages for three weeks in extreme cases, after which this entitlement expires. The benefits of the Federal Disability Insurance (IV) and occupational pension do not come into effect for at least one year. Daily sickness allowance insurance bridges an important gap between mandatory continued salary payment on the part of the employer and the start of any benefits from an occupational pension or the Federal Disability Insurance.
“As a claims inspector and case manager, I process extensive benefit cases, medical documentation and the claims made by our insured persons, visit and accompany them in the event of accident, illness, incapacity for work and during the reintegration process,” explains Christa. The focus is on the recovery of the insured person, followed by their reintegration. “I often wear two different hats during our work: as a claims inspector, I record the benefit case and clarify certain factors. At the same time, I work as a case manager and help our customers to determine the right measures and involve the appropriate contact persons.”
We have succeeded in integrating over 60 people back into the employment market in collaboration with the Federal Disability Insurance Office. Dounia, Daniel and Andreas talk about their experiences in the blog.
– Dounia’s way back following post-traumatic, stress-induced depression
– Daniel’s reintegration following burnouts
– From panel beating to commercial apprenticeship – Andreas changes course
“We can have very close contact with the person concerned. We provide support to people who are in an extraordinary situation and accompany them like a shadow – for this, they need to trust us,” says Christa.
Our case managers act as a point of contact and coordination for the person: “For example, round tables are organised to meet with the person and any involved agencies, such as employers, doctors, Federal Disability Insurance, etc., to work together to find a solution.” In complex cases, external case management is arranged, with a company that specialises in reintegration taking on the support of the insured person. For cases such as mental illness as a result of conflict at work, Christa is able to take on the integration process herself.
«After one to two months, I usually call the person I supported to ask them how things are going.»
Even if Christa tries to avoid taking her work home with her in her thoughts, some situations are bound to affect her: “In such cases, however, I can always rely on my team: we have a great working relationship. If something gets a bit much for one of us, we can talk and are there for each other.”
What about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
While it is not yet possible to assess the overall effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain aspects are already apparent: “People are worrying about their financial security, and this affects their mental health. At the same time, lots of operations and treatments were unable to take place or were carried out with a delay last year. This makes the recovery process more complex. Lastly, there are people who were infected with coronavirus and suffer from physical complaints, are restricted for an extended period or unable to work, and are having trouble finding their way back into working life.”