NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When we think about protecting ourselves and our families, we think about locking our doors, buying a safe car, exercising, or even wearing sunscreen. But do we think about protecting our incomes? According to a survey conducted by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, while 90 percent of respondents say they lock their doors and windows, just 40 percent of Americans have disability insurance, which could protect them financially if they were unable to work.
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, a time to consider that, while disability can seem unlikely, it’s more common than many people think. According to a 2012 FBI report, the risk of a home robbery is one in 36, but people think they’re more likely to be robbed than to become disabled. Unfortunately, more than one in four of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire, according to statistics from the Center for Disability Awareness.
“It’s our job to help people protect against the unpredictable,” said Larry Schreiber, president and CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “Financial wellness is an important part of overall wellbeing, and disability insurance can help alleviate financial stress.”
It’s difficult to protect yourself from what you’re not expecting, and disability is a commonly underestimated threat. Most people think of workplace injuries or accidents when they think of disability, but the reality is 90 percent of disabilities are caused by illness, such as arthritis, back pain or cancer.
For this reason, integrating disability and medical benefits may also help employees get back to work sooner and help employers control costs of absenteeism. More than 80 percent of employers using integrated benefits agree this approach is valuable to both employees and employers, according to an August 2015 study by Employee Benefit News.
“Disability benefits provide peace of mind and financial protection, but they also help connect the dots for overall health,” said Schreiber. “As one of the nation’s leading benefit companies, we recognize that physical, emotional and financial health are interconnected. The integration of health and disability plans helps consumers get back on their feet faster while providing a stronger financial foothold.”
This report presents the findings of a telephone omnibus survey using the field services of Opinion Research Corporation, from April 16-20, 2015. The study was conducted using two probability samples: randomly selected landline telephone numbers and randomly selected mobile (cell) telephone numbers. The combined sample consists of 1,010 adults (18 years old and older) living in the continental United States. Of the 1,010 interviews, 508 were from the landline sample and 502 from the cell phone sample. The margin of error for the sample of 1,010 is ± 3.08 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that if we were to replicate the study, we would expect to get the same results within 3.08 percentage points 95 times out of 100
About Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Serving New Yorkers for 80 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting more than four million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at @empirebcbs.