Perceived Risk of Critical Illness Diagnosis High Among Middle-Income Americans, New Study Reveals

    Perceived Risk of Critical Illness Diagnosis High Among Middle-Income
                         Americans, New Study Reveals

PR Newswire

CARMEL, Ind., June 18, 2013

CARMEL, Ind., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --A recent study finds middle-income
Americans on average give themselves about a 1-in-5 chance of being diagnosed
with a critical illness in the next three years and a 1-in-2 chance of being
diagnosed with a critical illness within the next 20 years.

Middle-Income America's Perspectives on Critical Illness and Financial
Security study, commissioned by Washington National Institute for Wellness
Solutions (IWS), surveyed 1,001 Americans ages 30 to 66 with an annual
household income of between $35,000 and $99,999.

The IWS study found that those who feel more vulnerable in the short term—with
a perceived diagnosis risk greater than 50% over the next three years—tend to
have lower income, fewer resources and poor health. Those who consider
themselves highly vulnerable to critical illnesses are more likely to:

  oBe lower income— 52%
  oBe uninsured— 21%
  oBe unemployed— 13%
  oConsider themselves to be in poor/fair health— 22%
  oHave had a meaningful conversation about caregiving options in case of a
    critical illness— 50%

Health concerns vs. health choices
Although the study reveals that middle-income Americans are aware and
concerned by the risk of critical illnesses, for themselves and their
families, not enough are regularly engaged in health-promoting activities:

  o49% engage in physical activity
  o47% eat healthy foods
  o43% get eight hours of sleep
  o37% see a dentist

While more than three-fourths of middle-income Americans have a personal
healthcare provider whom they see at least annually, fewer seek regular
preventative care. Only one-third received a flu shot in the past six months
(during the flu season), less than two-thirds of women 40 and older received a
mammogram in the past two years, and only about half of all middle-income
Americans older than 50 have had a colonoscopy.

When asked why they are not engaged in healthier behaviors, most cite
external factors—such as the lack of time and money or physical
limitations—rather than personal reasons, such as a lack of motivation.

"Start by making good health a personal priority," said Barbara Stewart,
President of Washington National Insurance Company. "Strive to maintain a
healthy diet and stay active. The health choices you make today could have a
significant impact on your financial future given the incidence of critical
illnesses and the cost of health care."

Methodology
Middle-Income America's Perspectives on Critical Illness and Financial
Security, a study from the Washington National Institute for Wellness
Solutions, was conducted in January 2013 by Zeldis Research, an independent
research firm. The full report can be viewed at WNInstituteforWellness.com.

A cross-generational nationwide sample of 1,001 middle-income Americans ages
30 to 66 with an annual household income of between $35,000 and $99,999
participated in the internet-based survey. Females and males each represented
approximately 50% of survey participants.

None of the respondents had ever been diagnosed with any of the following
critical illnesses: Alzheimer's disease or dementia, cancer, heart disease,
multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke. Respondents were
excluded if they had Medicare, Medicaid or Medicare supplement insurance.
Significant subsample differences were tested at the 95% confidence level.

About the Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions
The Institute for Wellness Solutions is Washington National Insurance
Company's research and consumer education program. The organization sponsors
studies and supports awareness campaigns to help Americans meet the challenges
of critical illnesses. Specifically, the institute provides insight and
practical advice about wellness and illness prevention, illness care and
treatment, and managing the total costs—financial and personal—of critical
illnesses. To learn more, visit WNInstituteforWellness.com.

Washington National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group,
Inc. (NYSE: CNO), has helped Americans since 1911 to protect themselves and
their families from the financial hardship that often comes with critical
illnesses, accidents and loss of life. The company remains dedicated to
helping middle-income Americans who work hard and want to protect themselves
and their loved ones. To learn more, visit WashingtonNational.com.







SOURCE Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions

Website: http://www.wninstituteforwellness.com
Contact: Jennifer Born, Washington National Insurance Company, Ph:
312-396-7089, Email: Jennifer.born@washingtonnational.com
 
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