Health Extras

Posted on 14 January 2018 by Sophie Stoney

With the advent of managed care has come a growing and often debilitating problem for many Americans, who suffer when gaps in their insurance coverage leave them in financial difficulty. In a car accident, for example, which results in the permanent disability of an uninsured person, a family's long-term financial security can be threatened. On show 710 A World Business Review explores a cost-effective healthcare coverage program offered on the Internet.

David Blair, CEO of HealthExtras, Inc., appears on the program along with industry expert David Garets, Vice President and Research Director Area of Health Care at the Gartner Group, to discuss cost-effective coverage solutions now available for individuals and small businesses. He said examples such as the one used above are all-too-common today.

Blair said that 60% of all Americans lack any form of long-term disability insurance. "Most people would be wiped out by a major accident or illness," he said. Blair added that it might seem odd that, in light of these numbers, traditional distribution channels have all but ignored this obvious, universal need. However, he offered an explanation, and it's all about money. "Insurance brokers prefer to sell other insurance products that have higher profit margins," he stated. Consequently, consumers and small business owners are often left without cost-effective options. This, he added, is because consumers and small businesses are unable to secure discounted premiums usually afforded larger companies.

As the first company to develop and price health and disability products for purchase by consumers and small businesses via the Internet, HealthExtras now provides families with cost-effective coverage solutions they previously lacked. By maximizing the efficiency and worldwide reach of the Internet, the company is able to circumvent the traditional distribution channels in providing the coverage people need at prices they can afford. Blair said that for less than $10 per month, a person can secure their family's financial future with HealthExtras' $1 million permanent disability program.

Both Blair and Garets agreed that the need for disability and supplemental health coverage is fundamental to the financial security of families and individuals. "It is likewise a need that remains dramatically under-served," said Garets, who added that this type of coverage was every bit as important as life insurance and retirement savings.

HealthExtras is uniquely positioned to help consumers and small businesses secure ample coverage at affordable prices. By allowing the consumer to by-pass the high-cost broker system, HealthExtras represents a new and better resource for financial planning. And the consumer need not worry about sacrificing value or quality of coverage, Blair stated.

The spokesman for HealthExtras is actor Christopher Reeve, of Superman fame. Because of his own personal experience and commitment to educating others about the need to protect their families against the financial devastation of a major medical event, Reeves decided to accept HealthExtras' offer to become its spokesman, and has been very effective at getting the word out.

Blair offered some sobering statistics to drive home the need for adequate coverage: At age 42, your chances of becoming seriously disabled are four times greater than dying prior to age 65. Spinal cord injuries, and those related to the back, head and eye, are the leading cause of permanent disability. Motor vehicle accidents cause 44% of disabilities, while acts of violence cause 24%. Falls account for 22% of all disabilities, and sports related injuries account for 8%.

Another statistic that speaks volumes for the need to have long term disability coverage is this: 85% of spinal cord injury patients who survive the first twenty-four hours are still alive ten years later. There are an estimated quarter-million individuals with spinal cord injuries currently living in the United States. On average, 11,000 new injuries are reported every year.

The National Safety Council reported in 1997 that a disabling injury occurred every 2 seconds. That adds up to 2,000 per hour, 52,900 per day, and 371,200 per week. The total: 19.3 million disabling accidents in 1997 alone.