Just imagining a scenario in which you can’t pay your bills is stressful. Now imagine how stressful it would be if you really can’t pay a bill. One’s mental health could be put to the test.
Dealing with an emergency is likely to raise anyone’s blood pressure. Oftentimes, it comes with a high price. Many Americans feel unprepared to pay for one — whether the emergency is related to their health or home. A recent Bankrate survey reports that 57 percent of adults are uncomfortable about the amount of money they have saved for these unexpected expenses. Just 48 percent of Americans say they have enough in their emergency savings to cover 90 days worth of expenses.1
These concerns can lead to real stress.
The connection between mental health and financial stress
No wonder people are stressed. Recently, in 2022, inflation rates were the highest they’ve been in 40 years.1 The cost of living is on the rise with consumers paying more for housing (7.4% increase), transportation (12.2% increase), and food (12.7% increase).2
Americans are experiencing high levels of stress, resulting in a “mental health crisis” that greatly affects their health and well-being, according to the American Psychological Association. For many, financial concerns are their biggest stress — four in 10 Americans experience high or moderate stress in this area — sometimes leading to depression and anxiety. Debt that’s caused by something outside a person's control, such as due to a medical reason, has been particularly associated with mental health challenges.3
Stress-induced mental health issues can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleeplessness.4 Financial stress can also lead to these physical symptoms: headaches/migraines, compromised immune systems, digestive issues, high blood pressure, muscle tension, heart arrhythmia, and sleep problems.5
Obviously, nobody wants to feel stressed out about finances. Rather, the goal is to achieve financial wellness, which makes consumers feel confident and financially secure. However, for consumers, one of the biggest obstacles on the road to financial wellness is their inability to absorb an emergency expense.6
Conversely, people are generally more satisfied with their mental health when they feel like their financial situations are manageable or they are on track to meet their financial goals.
One way that could help do that is to use insurance as a safety net.
When financial concerns abound, insurance can act as a safety net
Employers offer their employees insurance benefits and other investing vehicles like 401(k) plans to better manage their overall finances. Employees use these benefits to save for retirement, control spending, reduce debt, save money for goal-related purchases, better manage and allocate investments and assets, and better manage current healthcare expenses and save for future ones.
Financial wellness benefits include more than health insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance. They also can include pet insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, critical illness insurance, hospital indemnity insurance, and accident insurance.
Having supplemental insurance could ease the minds of some Americans — from both middle- and high-income households — who are worried about having enough money for retirement, saving for an emergency, being unable to work because of an illness or injury, and paying for long-term care services and illness- or injury-related medical expenses. For example, middle- and high-income earners are almost equally concerned about paying for long-term care services (38 percent vs. 33 percent, respectively) and medical expenses due to an injury or illness (35 percent vs. 30 percent).7
Supplemental health is a cost-effective addition to current coverage
Are you concerned about what might happen to your finances due to an unforeseen occurrence? Having supplemental health insurance can help alleviate some stress and help your mental health — something we all need during these changing times.
Supplemental health insurance is cost-effective and can be offered through your employer. Look for it during open enrollment season!