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Workers in denial about their chances of getting seriously ill
By Insure.com staff

Most American workers are in denial about their chances of getting a serious illness, according to a new study commissioned by Aflac, which sells supplemental medical insurance.

Sixty-two percent of workers say it's very or completely unlikely they or a family member will be diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer, and 55 percent say they are not very or not at all likely to be diagnosed with a chronic illness, such as heart disease or diabetes.

However, about one-third of women and half of men will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, according to the American Cancer Society's "Cancer Facts & Figures 2012." Coronary heart disease leads to one in six deaths in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

Despite optimism about their health, the Aflac WorkForces Report found that most American workers are worried about their financial health, and many admit they are unprepared to handle the financial consequences of a serious illness or accident.

Among the survey's findings:

  • Half of workers, 51 percent, are trying to reduce debt.
  • Fifty-eight percent of workers don't have a financial plan to handle the unexpected.
  • Only 8 percent of workers strongly agree their family will be financially prepared in case of an unexpected emergency
  • Twenty-eight percent have less than $500 (51 percent have less than $1,000) in savings for emergency expenses.
Most workers, 60 percent, said they would be at least somewhat likely to buy voluntary health insurance plans if they were offered by an employer. Voluntary policies provide supplemental coverage for such emergencies as critical illnesses, short-term disabilities and accidents.
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