by Tom Meyers
August 7, 2017
Tomorrow morning, millions of Americans will wake up and begin their morning routine. Getting the kids out of bed to brush their teeth. Putting on glasses or contacts to read the morning news. Helping an aging or ailing loved one start their day. So many of these normal, everyday routines are made possible by insurance coverage.
Our commitment as health insurance providers is to deliver quality, affordable coverage that promotes health and wellness and protects the financial security that families, businesses, and communities deserve.
That’s why AHIP recently conducted a nationwide survey of 1,000 workers with employer-provided health plans. The objective: to learn and better understand what matters most to hardworking Americans, what their wellness priorities are, and what coverage features they need to stay healthy. The response was loud, clear, and convincing.
Americans overwhelmingly value their physical health (65 percent) over their financial health (35 percent). They value their benefits (42 percent) over the costs saved (28 percent) or quality of providers (22 percent). And, they value the protection their coverage provides for their family’s future (55 percent) more than the present (45 percent) – a difference that increases significantly with age.
Younger Americans want peace of mind today as they build their careers and maintain their good health. As American workers get older, the more they want protection and security tomorrow for their hard-earned investments and future health.
That’s why “financial health and wellness coverage” – dental, vision, income protection, supplemental, long-term care (LTC), and Medicare supplemental insurance – is so essential. It delivers real value that families and individuals depend on every day.
Following primary health insurance (94 percent), dental (90 percent) and vision (85 percent) rank among their top coverage priorities. These plans, taken together, constitute complete coverage, and their greatest benefit is the preventive services, like regular dental checkups and cleanings, that are fully covered.
The truth is nearly 1 in 3 American workers will suffer a disability from illness or injury that takes them away from their job for three months or longer – and 60 percent will result in personal bankruptcies and nearly 50 percent will end up in foreclosure.
Conventional wisdom would tell us that younger people – invincible and full of potential – are underestimating the reality of work-related disability. The next generation is in fact more concerned about their financial readiness for a work-related disability or accident than their elders. And that’s exactly why they recognize the value in employer-sponsored income protection and supplemental plans – empowering individuals and their families to continue living the life they’ve built, while focusing on the treatment and care they need.
Looking beyond the workplace and into retirement, millions of Americans will turn to Medicare to help address their health needs. Medicare supplemental insurance is critical to ensuring consistent, comprehensive coverage, lowering out-of-pocket costs, and providing guaranteed, renewable plans. This saves seniors thousands of dollars per year for critical services like hospitalizations, medications, and treatments.
Americans want the confidence that their health care plan will be there when they need it. At school. At work. At home. When you wake up every morning, you deserve the peace of mind that comes with having comprehensive financial health and wellness coverage. That means walking out the door with a plan – one that protects you, your family, and your future against whatever life may bring.
Tom Meyers is AHIP’s vice president of Product Policy.