(NewsUSA) - As Americans deliberate out-of-network co-pays, dental coverage and other choices during open enrollment, they often overlook disability insurance -- a potentially devastating financial mistake.
Many people discount the idea of disability insurance --they feel healthy and don't expect to miss work as a result of illness or injury. But disability does happen with more frequency than workers think and it doesn't always mean wheelchairs or permanent bed confinement. Anything from back surgery, a broken bone, cancer, heart disease or even a short term illness like pneumonia can cause someone to miss work.
According to the Social Security Administration, three in 10 of the workers entering the workforce today will become disabled at some point of their career. About one in seven workers will become disabled for five years or more. And disability can happen to anyone at any time -- calculate your own chance of disability at www.whatsmypdq.org.
Bills don't stop when someone stops making income. Americans need to make sure that, in the case of an accident or illness, they'll still be able to meet their financial obligations.
"We currently are facing many economic challenges and this season wage earners may see some changes in their benefits packages," says Barry Lundquist, president of The Council for Disability Awareness (CDA). "It's important that they don't lose sight of their single most important asset -- the ability to earn an income. It's imperative during these difficult times to ask questions and learn about disability planning and protection."
The CDA encourages employees to consider the following questions:
- What are my necessary monthly living expenses that would continue if my income stopped?
- Would my personal savings pay for my necessary monthly expenses for one month, two months, three months, six months or longer? Would my savings cover my "out of pocket" medical expenses, like deductibles and copays?
- Does my employer have a sick pay plan or long-term disability program, or both? Am I participating? When would it start, how much would it pay me and for how long?
The CDA encourages workers to ask their employer about disability benefits during open enrollment. For more information, visit www.disabilitycanhappen.org.
For more information about preparing for disability, visit www.disabilitycanhappen.org.