Reality and Opinions Differ on Disability Insurance

November 19, 2004 ( - There is a vast divide between belief and reality regarding disability issues, according to a recent survey by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Society of Actuaries.

The survey – which looked at full-time workers’ views on the likelihood, nature, and resource available regarding disability – showed employees were in the dark about such issues.

One in three workers over the age of thirty will become disabled for at least three months during their careers, according to the survey, but a majority of workers believe that this number is much less than in reality. Nearly half of respondents (47%) say that they are not concerned about a disability that could keep them out of work for an extended period of time.

Regarding coverage, a large number (58%) of employees believe they are covered, while in reality only one-third of workers across the nation are insured. Workers also do not understand what is covered by such insurance. Only 10% of disabilities are covered by worker’s compensation insurance, according to the survey, but well over half (59%) of employees believe that the percentage is higher.

Employees are somewhat more reasonable when discussing their preparation for a possible disability in relation to their fellow workers. Forty percent believe they are more prepared than most, while 23% believe they are less prepared. Thirty-five percent see their preparation as about average.

These statistics are even more startling when the saving habits of the average American are discussed. One in three employees state that their families could not live for more than three months on savings if the main wage earner was to lose his or her income due to a disability.

The results of the survey are available at .