Business of Well-being

5 Questions about Corporate Wellness and Life Insurance

As a longtime proponent of corporate wellness, I believe we need the perspective and analysis of many experts concerning this issue. In my role as a life insurance professional, and based on my answers to the enclosed questions, I believe we can advance the ideals of wellness to companies of all sizes and industries. The fierce urgency of now demands that we address these queries, so wellness can flourish.

Why is it Important to have Life Insurance?

If companies want to promote a culture of wellness, then workers need to know that life insurance is as indispensable as health insurance; the two complement each other, providing protection against potentially calamitous scenarios. We already know how financially ruinous it can be to not have health insurance: A single, unexpected event - like a sudden injury, due to playing sports or surviving the impact of an automobile accident - can result in tens of thousands of dollars of medical expenses.

Indeed, unpaid healthcare costs are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States; the direct consequence of decisions by the uninsured, who can otherwise afford coverage but forgo the chance to buy even the most modest of policies.

Life insurance is, in this respect, very much a corollary to health insurance because both instruments offer financial security against a possibly devastating, incurable illness or chronic medical condition. So, if we plan to speak about health and wellness - if we want employees to take better care of their bodies, and lessen their risk of contracting diabetes or heart disease or emphysema - then we need to have a national conversation, on a company-by-company basis, about the personal and economic benefits of having health insurance and life insurance.

We need to highlight the rewards employees can enjoy, with regard to improving their health and embracing a more active lifestyle. Those rewards include lower insurance premiums, superior coverage and the peace of mind that accrues because of this protection. A professional note: It is essential to have an expert, who understands these issues and can be an advocate on behalf of each person who wants to buy life insurance.

As the Founder of Local Life Agents, I abide by these words because I know how complex and frustrating it can be - and how misleading it often is - when it comes to trying to purchase life insurance. Streamlining this process and educating applicants about each step of this undertaking, is critical, period.

What can High-Risk Applicants do to Improve their Chances of Receiving Life Insurance?

Answer: This situation is an opportunity for life insurance professionals to be just that: Professionals, who are teachers and experts about the many ways high-risk applicants can meet the various underwriting guidelines that insurance companies have regarding eligibility of coverage for certain medical conditions. For example: Someone with high blood pressure, or an applicant who is overweight and suffers from hypertension (and has a family history of stroke or heart attacks), can, first and foremost, choose to be more healthy.

A life insurance professional, in his or her role as an educator, can explain (at a minimum) the economic advantages of losing weight and achieving a better body mass index (BMI), which is one of the factors insurance companies use to calculate rates for the sort of applicant described above.

At the same time, I have a duty to encourage people to be healthy; I have a responsibility to at least inform individuals of the threats associated with not attempting to stop smoking or not lowering so-called "bad cholesterol," or not fighting obesity and the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

These disorders are, to one degree or another, reversible conditions - provided a person follows the practical steps that will reduce the risk of heart disease, mitigate the threat of diabetes or significantly lower the likelihood that an insurance company will decline to issue coverage for an applicant. Again, a life insurance professional's role is to be a champion of good health or everyone!

Why is Life Insurance an Integral Part of Health and Wellness?

Answer: The answer is simple: If we do not promote good health and wellness, then medical costs - for everyone -  will increase while the chances of high-risk applicants getting life insurance will simultaneously decrease.

As a matter of basic financial common sense, never mind moral necessity, we must ensure people have health insurance and life insurance. The alternative is unacceptable because it will deprive companies of their most gifted workers, families of their most dedicated earners and whole communities of their most active citizens.

Why is it Essential to have an Expert, who Understands this Issue, to act as a Trusted Guide Throughout this Process?

Answer: In so many words: Applying for life insurance can be difficult, worsened by erroneous information and false assumptions about costs, coverage and eligibility for specific policies. Only a seasoned expert can simplify this process, explaining certain guidelines, answering questions about particular rules and appraising applicants on a timely basis.

How does Life Insurance Further Health and Wellness for so many Other People, Besides the Individual Applicant who Seeks Coverage?

Answer: Life insurance, like health insurance, protects loved ones from the economic aftershocks of a medical crisis. Without those safeguards, a family can become destitute and in an even worse state of emotional despair. Again, we have an obligation to prevent such things. We owe it ourselves to make good health a priority.

About the Author

Brad Cummins is the Founder of Local Life Agents and a frequent writer about issues involving health, wellness and insurance.

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