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Study: Workers fear costs of critical illness more than death

  • Aug-19-2013
  • Richard Reich

Nearly half of all U.S. workers fear the financial impact of a critical illness more than death, according to research conducted by Sun Life Financial. In its poll of over 4,000 full-time U.S.-based employees, the financial services company found that 47 percent of those surveyed cited "finances" as their greatest concern if they were faced with a critical illness.

Sun Life's report, titled "Well-Placed Fears: Workers' Perceptions of Critical Illness," indicated that single women and single parents are more likely than other workers to be concerned about the costs resulting from a critical illness. For example, single women in the 40 to 50 age group who earn less than $50,000 a year are four times more worried about the finances associated with a major medical issue than they are concerned about dying from it.

Despite the fears expressed by employees, Sun Life found that the majority of Americans do not have any sort of insurance that would assist them with the costs of critical care. Of the 285 respondents who reported that they have previously suffered from a critical illness, two-thirds of them had to take special measures to cover the costs, including dipping into a retirement account, borrowing money from relatives or declaring bankruptcy. 

Bob Klein, Sun Life's Senior Vice President of Voluntary and Multiline divisions, said in a press release that his company's findings should give pause to American workers who have not given much thought to their financial futures.

"Even if you have robust health insurance coverage, a significant health condition […] can divert a significant chunk of money from your savings, or in some cases, cost you your home," said Klein. "Based on these findings, we think many workers will want to explore ways to increase their financial security in case they experience a critical illness."

In the unfortunate event that you do not survive a critical illness, it is important that your family be able to pay off these medical expenses. A life insurance policy can provide this support. For a term life insurance quote, please browse our website and see which life insurance plan works best for you.

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