posted by Greg Poulakos, President, Anthem Life
on May 21, 2018
Disability insurance prepares people for life’s unexpected moments by protecting income if unable to work due to an injury or illness. However, one in three working Americans don’t have adequate disability coverage. It’s a troubling statistic, particularly when 90 percent of disability claims are for conditions caused by illness, such as arthritis, back pain, and cancer. And one of the most common reasons for short-term disability is pregnancy.
The results of a recent Anthem survey show the need to educate Americans on the benefits of disability insurance and the potential risks of not having the coverage, particularly among millennials. One in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire. According to our survey, over one third (39 percent) of millennials think short-term disability insurance is important to financial well-being. But that same amount says they are not very familiar with long-term and short-term disability insurance.
We need to close that knowledge gap. The month of May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, a time for employers to educate employees about the financial peace of mind and security that disability insurance brings, before an injury or illness occurs. Without these benefits, people may be unable to protect their income should the unexpected happen.
And disability benefits extend beyond wage replacement as the health care landscape evolves. Through an integrated health care solution, like those offered by Anthem’s affiliated health plans, integrating medical and disability benefits makes it possible for care providers to share clinical information and work hand-in-hand to help consumers get healthy and return to work faster. Connecting disability coverage with medical plans can actually result in earlier detection of disease, better consumer engagement in wellness programs, and lower medical costs for those who engage with a disability case manager. Employers should consider making key investments in the health and productivity of their employees that not only protect financial wellness but their overall health, too.
Anthem champions making health care simpler, more accessible, and more affordable, which includes helping people get back to health, back to work, and back to life when facing a disability. Physical, emotional, and financial health are interconnected, and a holistic approach leads to a healthier, more productive workforce. Disability Insurance Awareness Month presents an opportunity to provide education to workers of all ages about the benefits of disability insurance to safeguard financial security.