Disability Coverage These Days

In the curr?nt open ?nr?llm?nt seas?n for 2012 b?n?fit?, m?re employ?rs ar? ??k?ng w?rk?rs to put ??me ?f the?r ?wn mone? u? f?r high-end disability ?over?ge. Thi? tr?nd ?p?e?r? to b? c?t?hing u? w?th ?ther ?mpl???? b?nef?t? ?u?h ?? tr?d?t??n?l h?alth insurance wh?ch h?s ???n in?re?s?ng ?m?lo?e? c??t-sh?r?s for ??v?ral ye?r?.

‘W? ar? s???ng ?om? gradual ?lide to m?r? em?l??e? fin?n???l res?on??b?l?t? f?r l?ng-t?rm ??v?r?g?,’ re??rts Rich Fuerstenb?rg, ? ?artn?r w?th b?nefits ?on?ultant Mercer t?ld the insurance Journ?l. ‘Th? ?m?loy?r? wh? us?d to ?r?v?d? the entir? ?o?t now m?? ?r?v?de ? ??r? b?nef?t ?nd ?ll?w work?r? t? bu? u? th?ir ??v?rag?.’

Emplo??r? ar? ?l?? l?m?t?ng ?hort-term disability b?n?fit? ?nd lengthen?ng th? wa?t?ng p?r??d b?for? long-t?rm c?verag? k??k? in, say? Ste?h?n Mitch?ll of Unum Gr?up.

Mor? th?n h?lf of ?ll ?m?l?y?rs, 53 ?er??nt, r?qu?r?d th??r worker? t? ??y the full ???t of th??r l?ng-t?rm disability ?overag? by 2009, a?c?rding to th? m??t r?cent d?t? fr?m insurance indu?tr? re???r?h gr?u? LIMRA. Th?t’s u? fr?m just 41 ??rcent fr?m 2002.

W?rk?r? l??k?ng ?t disability insurance ?n th? curr?nt ??en ?nr?llment ???son hav? a numb?r ?f ?pt??ns ?nd d??is??ns t? ??n?id?r:

• Should th?? bu? int? the gr?u? ?l?n ?r bu? ?riv?t? ?ov?r?g??

• Should th?y ?a? for bigg?r monthly benefits, ?n ??rlier ?t?rt or c?verag? that ?a?s th?m ?f th?? c?n’t w?rk ?n the?r ?h??en f?eld? ?r

• Should the? t?ke a p?s? ?om?l?t?ly, ?n th? th??r? th?t th?y ?r? he?lth?, unlik?l? t? b???m? d??abled and w?uld ?ref?r t? w?rk.

Th? kew dec?s?on p??nt f?r ?m?l??e?? ?? wh?t c?n th?y afford t? lose. Few ?m?lo?ee? th??? d??? ?an ?ff?rd t? l??? ? m?nth’s ?alary, but th?y m?? get b? w?th a w??ek ?r tw? w?thout pa?. F?r few?r ar? pre??r?d if the? ?udd?nl? be??me t?t?ll? ?nd ?r?m?nentl? d??abl?d. C?ns?der this: ? cli?nt b??omes t?t?lly di??bled forcing th?m to qu?t? th?ir $80,000 plus annu?l in??me ??b ?nd n?w f??e a m?unt?in of m?d?c?l b?ll?. Should th?y c?unt ?n S????l Security disability ben?f?t?, at an av?r?g? of $1,070 ? m?nth, to cover th?r? l?st wages?

Thi? i? wh? obt??n?ng disability ?n?om? insurance wh?le y?ung ?an be an adv?ntag?, d????te the very sl?m chanc?s that a cl?ent w?ll ne?d ?t ?n the f?rs??able futur?.

In fa?t, though disability ?overag? ?? ?ften sold w?th ?cary number? — the S?c?al Secur?ty Adm?ni?trat?on ??tim?t?? th?t ? ?ers?n in h?? or h?r 20s h?s ? 30 p?rc?nt ?han?? ?f be??m?ng d??abled ov?r th? ??ur?? of a ?ar?er — th? r??l chances ?f a ??ri?us p?rm?n?nt disability ?r? f?r l?wer. A??ord?ng t? Cen?u? De?artm?nt f?gur?s, 6.9 p?r??nt ?f w?rk?ng ?ge ????l? ar? ?revent?d fr?m w?rk?ng bec?u?? ?f a disability at ?n? on? t?me.

And disability cov?r?ge ?s ??tu?ll? ?ric?d on th? bas?s of ?v?n low?r number?. Ac?ord?ng to indu?try data, the ?han??? that ?om??n? will b?c?m? ‘t?t?lly and ??rm?nently’ d?sabled ar? m?re lik? f?v? ?ut ?f 1,000, ???? M?t?h?ll Andrew?, ? disability brok?r with Pl?xu? Grou?? in Ch?cago.

Some ????le — ??rt?cularly whit? c?llar pr?f?s?i?n?l? — ?schew disability insurance on th? th??ry that th?? will be ?bl? t? work n? matt?r what: Th? ‘I ?an ?lwa?? ?tagger ov?r to m? c?m?ut?r’ th??ry.

Furthermor?, disability insurance is pri??d ba??d ?n ?rof??s??n. Th? manu?l l?bor?r ha? ? higher ch?nce of h?ving ? h??lth ?robl?m th?t r?nders him un?bl? t? w?rk; h?s ??l??? f?r the ??me amount ?f ben?f?ts w?uld ???t m?re.

So, disability cov?r?g? ?s on? ?f tho?e bets that mak? ??n?? and pr?v?d?? s?curit? ?ga?nst p?t?nt??l los?, but th?t y?u h??e t? ??tu?ll? l??? m?n?? ?n b? never n??d?ng it.