What does it mean to have value, worth, rights, ownership, fairness, justice and equity? Equity is not just found in real estate but in voluntary protections in what we consider essential in our lives, such as Insurance. Even in these days of uncertainty, people should look to secure as much as they can afford to help protect their lives and better their health. Yet, even though Insurance, for the most part, is voluntary and three insurance coverages — health, life, and dental — have an ownership rate of over 50%, we see among the racial groups, 68% of blacks are the lowest insured when it comes to having health insurance.
A study published in July 2021 shed light on some of the highest rates of Insurance. It analyzed what percentage of Americans own each type of voluntary Insurance (life, health, pet, etc.) & what the average monthly premium is for each. In addition, the data breaks it down by state, race, gender, and generation. Mike Brown, the Director of communications for Breeze an online insurance company that handles disability and critical illness insurance, published this study.
Why is the study, and how is this information helpful for the average consumer?
Mike Brown: The most significant way this information can help the everyday consumer is by looking at the average monthly premiums for each type of insurance product. It doesn’t matter if certain Americans have ‘X’ type of Insurance but how much Insurance they have and how much they are paying for it. So when you see the average monthly premiums for a specific type of product, and you have that product, it gives you a way to compare and ask the question, “am I paying too much for my type of insurance”? And find out where you stand with your insurance product.
The information in the study can be a measuring stick. For example, maybe someone such as African American is paying more for health insurance premiums than an acquaintance who is white and has health issues and is spending less than someone wo is African American. You can use this information to have a conversation with that insurance carrier. In addition, use the information to shop around for other insurance carriers for the best monthly premiums.
What impact did the pandemic have on people purchasing voluntary Insurance such as Life insurance?
Mike says people did not purchase more life insurance or life insurance in general; that wasn’t the trend. Likewise, people did not buy disability insurance as a precaution to contracting Covid-19 and be out of work for weeks. Disability insurance would come in handy to replace that income, but 2020 was the lowest enrollment rate for Disability Insurance.
What does it mean to have Equity in Insurance?
Mike Brown: Equity when it comes to voluntary insurance products can be expensive monthly. When looking at health insurance on race, you see numbers like only 68% of Black in the survey own health insurance, compared to 81% of Latino respondents, 82% of Asian respondents, and 84% of White respondents. So when you talk about equity, we talk about affordability and public health care, and given some life circumstances and the social determinants of health, many still can’t afford it. So making health insurance more accessible to everyone and the lack thereof is an example of having equity for better health care and better health outcomes.
You can read more about the study in full detail here.
Contributing writer, Shera Strange is a writer, Fitness Blogger and Certified Fitness Professional. Find her on social media @StrangeFitness or Shera Strange.