Following up on our discussion of stroke, we came across the startling results of a recent survey. The researchers found that more than two-thirds of all workers in full-time jobs lack long-term disability insurance. One-third of all such employees simply don't have it available to them, while 38 percent have the option of employer-sponsored coverage but choose not to enroll. The lack of coverage poses an enormous risk, because medical problems, some of which involve disability and inability to work, are factors in approximately 50 percent of all home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies in the U.S.
In the business world, there is an underlying tension between employees and investors. While neither will survive, much less thrive, without the other, budget considerations often come down to what's good for the investor or what's good for the employee. Right now, telecommunications company Nortel Networks Corp. is between that rock and hard place, and its long-term disability benefits and retiree health care plans are both at risk.