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Consumers still hungry for dental, vision and disability

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Many Americans have aching holes in their personal protection plans.

Analysts at Cigna (NYSE:CI) report on the gaps in a recent electronic survey of 1,847 U.S. residents ages 25 to 64, with an annual household income of at least $25,000.

The Cigna analysts found big, lingering gaps in the benefits survey participants had and the benefits they wish they had. About 63 percent of the participants said they had dental insurance — but only 7 percent of the remaining 37 percent said they were not interested in owning dental insurance. Thirty percent said they wish they had dental insurance.

Similarly, 55 percent had vision insurance, 11 percent had no interest in vision insurance and 34 percent wish they had vision insurance.

About 31 percent of the participants had short-term disability (STD) insurance, and just 28 percent had long-term disability (LTD) insurance. The percentage of consumers with no interest in having income protection insurance was relatively high: 36 percent for STD and 33 percent for LTD. But 33 percent of the participants had no STD coverage and wanted it, and 39 percent of the participants had no LTD coverage and wanted it.

Cigna also asked participants to weigh in on a hot topic: Whether keeping costs low is more important or having access to their own doctors and hospitals was more important. About 60 percent of the consumers rated overall cost as extremely important; 47 percent rated having access to their own providers as extremely important.