SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

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Matrix Absence Management introduces ADA Advantage™

Matrix Absence Management, Inc., (Matrix), a market leading integrator of insurance and absence management services, has introduced ADA Advantage™, a service platform to help employers administer American with Disability Act (ADA) programs.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities. The ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), which went into effect in 2009, expanded upon the definitions and applicability of ADA in the workforce.

ADA requires employers to consider accommodations for employees with disabilities so that their jobs can be maintained, with or without reasonable accommodations. These accommodations often involve extensions of employee leave that is otherwise governed by federal (FMLA) or state leave laws.

“In our market space, as an extension of our clients’ HR and benefits organizations dedicated to managing employee absence and productivity, we most often see an intersection with ADA at the time Federal and or State leave entitlements and/or disability benefit periods end,” according to Kenneth Cope, president of Matrix. “In that regard, we have developed an offering to help our clients address the escalating demands of ADA in synch with other, often conflicting, employee entitlements.”

Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Matrix has service locations nationwide, including claims hubs in San Jose, Phoenix, AZ, Hawthorne, NY and Portland, OR. Matrix clients employ nearly 2 million employees nationwide with total payrolls exceeding $60 billion.

Together, Matrix and sister company Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company market a range of integrated employee benefits called Absence Solutions®.

Focusing on medical investigation and support, Matrix will provide ADA support services for all employee leaves, empowering the employer to make the best determinations based on available information. This service delivery model leverages a secure software platform accessed jointly by both Matrix and client administrators for streamlined data collection, communication, tracking and reporting. Tasks required for effective administration and to drive compliance will be documented in the system allowing for full audit capabilities.

ADA allowances for requests other than extended absence – such as the need for a modified workstation, ergonomic keyboard or change in work shift – are a large part of managing compliance with the law. The new Matrix product is inclusive of both leave and “non-leave” requests.

Highlights of the top-tier service model include management of all activities including obtaining medical information; conducting interactive employee assessments; obtaining referrals such as ergonomic evaluations; tracking and managing employee accommodations; and providing follow up and reporting. The service delivery model leverages a secure software platform accessed jointly by both Matrix and client administrators for streamlined data collection, communication and reporting.

The Matrix offering was successfully piloted beginning in the 4th quarter of 2013 and is now available as an add-on service for all leave customers. For more information, see your local Reliance Standard sales representative or account manager, or visit www.reliancestandard.com.

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (Reliance Standard) is a leading insurance carrier specializing in innovative and flexible employee benefits solutions including disability income and group term life insurance, a suite of voluntary (employee paid) coverage options and fully integrated absence management. Reliance Standard markets these solutions nationwide through independent brokers and agents to employers of all sizes.

Both Matrix and Reliance Standard are members of the Tokio Marine Group. Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., the ultimate holding company of the Tokio Marine Group, is incorporated in Japan and is listed on both the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges. The Tokio Marine Group operates in the property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and life insurance sectors globally. The Group’s main operating subsidiary, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire (TMNF), was founded in 1879 and is the oldest and leading property and casualty insurer in Japan.

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