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Disability Insurance Observer: Gen Y

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Insurers are trying to help the young adults lucky enough to have a steady income understand the importance of insuring it against the risk of disability.

The Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) has picked Mary Beth Storjohann, a Gen Y financial planning expert and founder of Workable Wealth, to help it let Gen Y workers know about the risk of disability, the existence of disability insurance, and the reality that they might have a harder time qualifying for coverage as they get older.

Maybe Storjohann could start by pointing out how much various characters in Gen Y-friendly shows like “Girls” and “Games of Thrones” would benefit if they could insure their ability to earn an income, and why the characters would or would not be eligible for benefits from various types of policies if, in fact, they had the policies, and the bad guys (and scriptwriters) let the policies work more or less as expected.

The insurers that write disability insurance and the producers that sell it are truly doing God’s work. Any insurance arrangement can go wrong, just as anything else that human beings create can go wrong. But, when disability insurance coverage pays the people it was supposed to pay in the way the purchasers expected, it can keep people who are going through incredibly stressful situations face financial devastation.

But the disability insurance market works pretty well, all things considered, and doesn’t have the glamor the major medical market has. The companies issuing the products have to try to get attention by finding a creative new way to say, “Our new product is a good, meat-and-potatoes product that’s pretty much like the old product, but the logo is prettier.”

Meanwhile, the issuers of some other products are going through the corporate cataclysm equivalent to Game of Thrones themselves. Just watch the Covered California PPACA exchange episode where the HHS secretary chops off that bald guy’s tongue, and it flies away and turns into a coven of witches, who proceed to free the enslaved garden gnomes at Cover Oregon, who all marry bobblehead statues at the NAIC offices in Kansas City, Mo., who — etc., etc. Of course, none of that is happening in the disability insurance market. The insurers get into some fights over whether people are actually disabled or not. That’s about it for drama.

So, Storjohann has her work cut out for her. But it’s work well worth doing.

See also: Advisors ignoring millennials.