How do I get STD Insurance?

Disability Coverage through California State Disability Insurance

In California, most employees are covered by the State Disability Insurance program (SDI), which provides partial wage replacement. The SDI program is funded through employee payroll deductions. If your employer participates, they may offer additional coverage if you pay a premium.

Signing up for a Group Plan: Avoiding Medical Underwriting

If your employer does not participate in SDI, it may offer a voluntary plan, which is an STD policy like the ones described above. Your employer will allow you to sign up for the plan during an initial enrollment period. During this period, the insurance company cannot deny you coverage based upon a pre-existing condition, so it’s very important to sign up then. You may be required to work for a certain period of time before a pre-existing condition is covered (an exclusionary period), but you will still be able to sign up for the plan.

If you don’t sign up during initial enrollment, you’ll have to undergo medical underwriting. The insurance company will review your medical records to find out if you have pre-existing condition or are getting treatments for a potentially disabling condition. Treatments can include advice from a doctor or a medication. If the insurance company finds that you do have a health condition or have had treatments, the insurance company can deny you coverage, exclude conditions from being covered, or have an exclusionary period for your conditions.

Signing up for an Individual Policy

If you work for an employer that doesn’t offer any STD plan, you may want to consider buying an individual policy. You will have to undergo medical underwriting (see above) to get individual coverage. When shopping for individual policies, look for reputable companies and be sure to read all of the details of your policy. You can find ratings of insurance providers at the following websites:

When you are Injured

Once you have your policy and are injured, be sure to speak with your HR manager or insurance agent as soon as possible to begin the application process.