Heart disease remains the leading cause of death globally, taking 17.9 million lives each year. That’s 32% of all deaths. In the United Sates, one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease, and it’s also the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups. So, it’s time to take better care of our hearts.
New internal claims data from Unum confirms the prevalence of cardiovascular disease. From 2017 to 2021, heart-related incidents accounted for 29% of critical illness claims. That makes heart-related conditions the second most frequent benefits claim, following cancer (58%).
According to the American Heart Association, small changes to daily habits and routines can make a big difference. In most cases, heart disease is preventable when people adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes:
- Ending tobacco use
- Eating healthy
- Controlling blood sugar and cholesterol
- Treating high blood pressure
- Being active and controlling stress
- Getting regular checkups
For many, however, adopting a healthier lifestyle remains elusive. In the United States alone, people are still experiencing heart attacks at an alarming rate – one every 40 seconds. Suffering one can interrupt an individual’s ability to work for months, even years. That in turn impacts their ability to pay bills. According to LIMRA, 63% of households say they would feel the financial impact of a wage earner becoming disabled.
That’s where disability insurance comes in. It can replace around 60% of a worker’s salary to help cover living expenses during prolonged absences from work. But that may not be enough if the costs of treatment or hospitalization that are not covered by your health insurance start to add up. Supplemental insurance from Unum, like Critical Illness, Hospital, and Accident coverage, can help you weather a crisis without draining your savings, especially if you:
- Have a family history of heart disease or stroke
- Are concerned about the impacts of a serious health condition on your finances
- Are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan with a widening gap between what you’re financially responsible for and what health insurance covers
- Are age 50-59, an age bracket that accounts for 43% of heart-related Critical Illness claims
Don’t let another Heart Month pass without learning what you can do to keep your finances and your heart healthy. Check with your HR department to learn which employee benefits are offered to help protect you and your family when life takes an unexpected turn.