Report Spotlights Worker Concern For Critical Illness Costs



A nationwide survey by Sun Life Financial, based on responses from more than 4,000 employees found that many workers fear the financial impact of a critical illness – especially cancer – even more than death.

According to the study, “Well-Placed Fears: Workers’ Perceptions of Critical Illness,” these concerns may result from growing out-of-pocket health care costs, as employer-sponsored Health plans are requiring employees to shoulder a higher share of medical costs. For example, workers in the survey with Health insurance who suffered from cancer paid an average of $6,740, heart attack survivors spent $14,234, and stroke victims were out $17,680.

The survey found that:

  • Half of all workers, especially women and younger workers, cite cancer as their most dreaded critical illness.
  • Most workers age 40 to 50 – especially single workers, single women, and single parents – fear the financial impact of critical illness more than they fear death. Among workers age 22 to 39, this holds true of most single parents and single women earning less than $50,000.
  • More than one third (37%) of workers who survived a critical illness were out of work for four months or longer.
  • Nearly two-thirds (66%) of those who experienced a critical illness had to make financial sacrifices (such as tapping emergency funds or long-term savings) to meet uncovered medical or non-medical costs, even though they had Health insurance.
  • More than one-third (36%) of workers believe that they’re covered for critical illness — although industry estimates suggest that less than 5% of the workforce actually have this coverage.

The bottom line: your workers want, and need, Critical Illness insurance. Our Employee Benefits specialists stand ready at any time to help you meet this need – at an affordable price.