The income umbrella (AP photo/Charles Dharapak)

I’m still deeply skeptical of anyone who makes any confident statements about how the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) insurance rules and exchange plans have done or will do.

PPACA World seems like a mess, but, of course, the numbers available for the exchange and non-exchange commercial health insurance, government health plan and uninsured charity care markets are also a mess.

One thing I do know about PPACA World is this: Trying to cover it vacuums away a lot of energy I could otherwise devote to disability insurance.

If you end up living in dire poverty because of medical bills, that’s terrible.

If doctors save your life, and you still end up living in dire poverty, because you are no longer able to work, that’s also really just as terrible.

Society pays less attention to that risk, because the utility companies, grocers and landlords that dun people with disabilities are less vocal about the money they lose due to lack of income protection than doctors and hospitals are about the money they lose due to lack of medical insurance, but dire poverty is dire poverty.

The Hartford (NYSE:HIG) is an example of one of the companies in the disability insurance market that’s trying to patiently plug away at promoting disability insurance and the value of helping people with disabilities return to work.

This month, the company is featuring Evan Strong and Amy Purdy, two U.S. Paralympic snowboarders who are participating in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games from today through March 16.

Strong lost part of a leg in a motorcycle accident, and Purdy lost two of her limbs due to bacterial meningitis.

Hartford is going to donate $1 to the U.S. Paralympics for every Twitter and Facebook posting or email share from a site the company set up at http://www.whatdefinesyou.com.

In other words: Mainly for reasons of self-interest, without oversight by any government bureaucracy or consumer advocacy groups funded with payments related to the conversion of nonprofit hospitals or insurers to for-profit status, Hartford is doing something nice for specific people with disabilities — supporting an effort to help people with disabilities compete in the Paralympic Winter Games — while trying to change public opinion and employer opinion in a way that could help all people with disabilities.

There’s something really nice about that.

I would try to come up with a more specific conclusion, but now I have four more PPACA news stories to write… 

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