Most Workers Overlook the Need for Private Disability Insurance
There is no doubt that we are entering a time were people are becoming less reliant on their employers and Government programs for their health insurance needs, and more on themselves. But as consumers evaluate their health insurance requirements, and figure out what kinds of medical coverage is best to protect themselves and their families, they often overlook an important component to healthcare insurance - private disability insurance.
A new survey just released by the Council for Disability Awareness found that the number of American workers likely to experience a disabling illness or injury that could put them out of work for at least 3 months is growing. The study found that 80% of workers currently face such a risk, and yet when polled almost the exact same amount, actually more than 80% believed their chances of becoming disabled were slim. Such findings underscore the need to raise awareness of the risks of disabling events, and to let people know that their current health insurance coverage, whether from an employer, or purchased on their own, may not cover them for such an event. The CDA is poised to begin a Public Information Campaign to raise such awareness of the potential for and possible financially devastating consequences of even a temporary disability. Said Robert Taylor, executive Director of the CDA, "It's important that workers recognize the growing threat that disability can pose to their financial security."
According to the Social Security Administration since 2000 the number of disabled American workers has risen by more than 35%. In the meantime workers spending to cover even routine expenses, including medical expenses and health insurance premiums are at all time high. And savings are at their lowest in decades, in 2006 the overall savings rate in the country was negative 1% - the worst since the Great Depression. This is a recipe for disaster according to the CDA, which found that more than 60% of the workers surveyed responded that they had "no idea" how they would manage an income limiting disability. Or more distressing thought "Social Security" would cover that, but SSI disability payments are notoriously difficult to obtain, and even when approved for such benefits they do not even come close to equaling a salaried income. The best hedge against financial ruin could be an individual disability insurance policy. For single income families or the self-employed, a private disability insurance policy is a must.
The survey also discovered that almost one third of workers did not realize that a disabling injury or illness could jeopardize their retirement savings, and had no idea how they would continue making contributions to a 401K or IRA, should they become disabled.