Once a year in the month of May, we recognize the importance of disability insurance for Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM). Created by Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about financial planning, DIAM encourages professionals to take a hard look at the disability insurance policies in place – or not – and ensure clients have what they need ‘if’ something were to happen.
What would happen if a healthcare professional suddenly became disabled and couldn’t work? Here is what we know:
- According to the CDC, 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability
- Recent data by the American Council of Life Insurers shows that 51.3 million households in the United States are without disability insurance other than the basic coverage available through Social Security
- 14% of working Americans said they would have problems immediately, according to the 2020 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA.
Professionals across the entire healthcare ecosystem, whether they are surgeons, dentists, nurse practitioners or physician assistants, should fully understand that protecting their income is about protecting their families, homes, businesses, employees, children’s education funds, and retirement funds.
To provide perspective on just how important it is to connect with clients and remind them of the importance of disability insurance, Life Happens profiles stories of healthcare professionals who were grateful for their disability insurance policies when the unimaginable happened:
“Frank Szatkowski was a successful dentist, an avid outdoorsman and a tournament handball player before Lou Gehrig’s disease robbed him of the ability to speak, walk or even eat.” A year and a half after the first symptoms appeared, Frank had to stop working at the age of 56. It was his health insurance and an individually owned disability policy “that shielded his Chicago-area dental practice and his family from financial catastrophe,” and “the dental practice hasn’t missed a beat and Frank’s family will always be financially secure.”
Valerie King, an emergency medicine physician and single mom to three girls, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in the midst of her career. With her disability policy in place, she was able to pay the mortgage, put food on the table and send her three girls to college. As she puts it, “the most importance insurance you’ll ever buy is disability insurance because without your income, nothing else works.”
It’s stories like these that remind healthcare professionals just how important it is to have a policy in place. DIAM may be over this year, but now is the time to connect with clients to remind them that you are a resource and available to talk and answer questions about their disability insurance policies. You’ll want to check in and ensure they have enough coverage and the right policy suited for their needs.