Guardian and Wellthy Launch Partnership to Support Working Caregivers

Available to members in need of care themselves or when supporting others, Guardian becomes the first insurance carrier to include caregiving support services in employer-provided disability insurance.

(Image source: Guardian Life website.)

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (New York) and Wellthy (New York) have announced a new effort to help provide caregiver support services to Guardian members with employer-provided disability insurance benefits. Designed to support caregivers’ well-being at all phases of life and regardless of whether they are caring for themselves or others, the partnership will offer Guardian members access to comprehensive and customized support. Through the collaboration, available support services for members include access to a caregiving concierge, digital planning tools, and the Wellthy Community, an online peer-to-peer space for family caregivers to connect and exchange knowledge.

Over recent years, Guardian found that caregivers experienced a three-fold increase in the amount of time they spent on caregiving-related responsibilities—from 9 hours a week in 2020 to 26 hours a week in 2023. In its report, Standing Up and Stepping In, Guardian also discovered that these responsibilities are a primary contributor to declining caregiver well-being, with caregivers self-reporting the lowest overall well-being among all Americans. Coupled with the fact that more working Americans are taking on caregiving responsibilities than ever before, caregivers may face a heightened risk of physical, financial, and mental issues, which can lead to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and the need to take a leave of absence from work.

Matt Darula, Head of Product and Digital Offerings, Guardian.

The collaboration between Guardian and Wellthy aims to address these very challenges and the unrelenting demands on working caregivers. With this partnership, Guardian becomes the first carrier to include caregiving support services in an employer-provided disability insurance policy. Initially offered to new members, individuals who are caregivers or require their own care can use Wellthy’s services at every stage of their care journey, regardless of whether they are caring for themselves, their spouse, children, parents, or a member of their chosen family.

“Among members and our own colleagues alike, we’re increasingly seeing that more are taking on caregiving responsibilities, often prioritizing those they are caring for over their own well-being,” comments Matt Darula, Head of Product and Digital Offerings, Guardian. “While providing care is a noble act, it’s having real well-being consequences and ultimately impacting workplace productivity. Our study found that close to half of all caregivers report low well-being—32 percent more than non-caregivers. Our commitment to supporting wellness is ironclad and we’re exploring a variety of partnerships, services, and offerings to inspire member well-being. As we do so, addressing the burden faced by caregivers is one of the most meaningful ways we can help make progress against that commitment.”

For Wellthy, the partnership with Guardian expands on the company’s mission to help caregivers navigate care with confidence. To date, the company has helped caregivers with more than 130,000 care-related projects, ranging from providing conversation guides to use with loved ones to vetting potential residential facilities and finding specialist services, according to a Guardian statement. All care-related projects are supported by Wellthy’s team of care experts comprised of social workers, nurses, mental health specialists, and social service professionals.

More Engaged, Less Stressed

According to Wellthy, the depth of this work has given the company a first-hand look at the potential solutions employees may need today to help ensure they are thriving at work, while also being able to take care of their own well-being and loved ones. Among caregivers who have utilized Wellthy’s care support services, 90 percent reported being more engaged and less stressed at work, 66 percent missed fewer meetings, and 33 percent were able to avoid taking a leave of absence from work.

Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO, Wellthy.

“Family caregivers are unsung heroes, waking up every day and taking on responsibilities related to an ever-growing spectrum of care,” comments Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO and Co-Founder, Wellthy. Caring for loved ones is fundamentally one of the most human things we do, and yet the complexities, stress, anxiety, and fragmentation of navigating care today causes major disruption in the lives of working caregivers. Our partnership with Guardian is a significant step forward in providing comprehensive support to caregivers in our workforce, helping ensure they have the resources and guidance they need to thrive both at work and at home.”

As part of its commitment to being an employer of choice and supporting their own caregiver colleagues, Guardian also provides Wellthy’s services as a complimentary benefit for all of the company’s U.S. part-time and full-time colleagues. This initiative complements Guardian’s existing efforts to support working caregivers, including its CARE and additional Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), flexible work arrangements, and childcare benefits. Made available in March 2024, 35 percent of Guardian colleagues with a caregiving need have since utilized Wellthy’s services.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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