America's Sole Proprietors are Independent, Confident and Often Uninsured
Cigna's My Business, My Health study casts a spotlight on the sole-proprietor population to better understand their views on personal health, health insurance and how those two related issues impact their businesses
60 percent of uninsured sole proprietors admit they place business priorities over personal health and overall wellness
82 percent of all uninsured respondents said they did not have health/medical insurance because it is too expensive
81 percent of respondents believe health insurance costs more than it does
BLOOMFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- There are an estimated 42 million Americans making up the self-employed1 segment of today's workforce. This group is independent and confident; however many of them also lack health insurance. Cigna Individual and Family Plans surveyed 250 self-employed Americans and found that nearly 25 percent of respondents do not have health insurance. Given this finding, Cigna's My Business, My Healthstudy took a closer look at this uninsured population to better understand its views on personal health and wellness, business priorities and perceptions and misconceptions about health insurance.
According to My Business, My Health, 60 percent of uninsured respondents place business priorities ahead of personal health and overall wellness. Yet, more than one-third of respondents said that one month away from work due to personal illness would result in either a loss of customers or worse -- going out of business.
"Clearly the stakes are high for this population to stay healthy in order to stay successful in business," said Lisa Lough, vice president, Cigna Individual and Family Plans. "However, a majority of this group readily admit that their personal health takes a back seat to the demands of their business."
The findings of My Business, My Health highlights popular misconceptions about health insurance and medical costs. The study found a large majority of uninsured respondents (82 percent) stated they did not have health insurance because it was too expensive, yet 80 percent overestimated the cost of insurance and about a third underestimated the cost of medical care.
While most uninsured respondents (60 percent) worry about not having health insurance and what impact it could have on their business, the majority (also 60 percent) categorize themselves as "reactive" or "inactive" when it comes to their own health, meaning the reactive only go to the doctor when they feel sick or believe something might be wrong and the inactive very rarely go to the doctor even when they feel sick. And, a small percentage of business owners feel that they don't need health insurance because they are "healthy and maintain an active lifestyle." Among those respondents,15 percent aged 41 to 60 adhere to this belief despite the greater frequency of health issues among this demographic in the general population.
Based on the My Business, My Health study findings, Cigna has created the My Business, My Health web page (www.mybizmyhealth.com) to continue this important conversation with sole proprietors and provide clear information on health care reform and other helpful resources. My Business, My Health provides a glimpse into the mindsets of uninsured business owners featuring real entrepreneurs telling their personal stories about life, health and wellness and owning a business today.
"America's small business owners and entrepreneurs - the independent contractors, sole proprietors and freelancers - power the economy. To stay healthy and successful, self-employed workers need to plan for their health care needs and think more about health care in terms of prevention, instead of reaction," added Lough.
To download the My Business, My Health report, view candid videos of entrepreneurs sharing their stories, and to learn more about health care reform and access other helpful resources, visit http://www.mybizmyhealth.com/.
This survey presents the findings of an online survey, conducted on behalf of Cigna by ORC International, among a sample of 250 adults ages 30-60 who are self-employed small business owners. This survey was conducted February 11-13, 2013.
Cigna Corporation (NYS: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
1 Horowitz, Sara. 'Freelancers Union.' Freelancers Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. https://www.freelancersunion.org/about/; defining self-employed as freelancers, independent contractors and sole proprietors
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