| When something goes wrong with us, we suddenly realize it's a full-time job taking care of our health. Once a person becomes diabetic, or has cancer, or has heart trouble or other dysfunction, it takes almost all of your time, energy, and mental alertness to manage your health. But most people have to keep working full-time or almost full time to qualify for insurance benefits. Very few people can afford to stay home and do their medicines on time, see the doctors and do tests as scheduled, get the right amount of sleep, and exercise as instructed.
I have a brother with mesothelioma, who is still young and has to work to buy insurance. The price to buy directly is too high even when he's working. It's out of the question if he has to live off savings. There are regular blood tests, doctor visits, x-rays, and so forth, which means time off from work. FMLA protects your job, but only for 12 weeks out of six months, then you can renew for the following six months. But they only hold your job, not your benefits which you buy or your income. He's still at the point where he's doing surgeries, so he's still taking large chunks of time off. He can no longer work overtime, like he just did last year, because he gets too tired.
I have known others who had to miss time for chemo, or go three times a week for dialysis, or just once a month for a blood test. That's very inconvenient for an employer who has an employee out on a regular basis for tests and check-ups. It's rough on the employee keeping it all straight and getting places on time, paying the bills, making appointments, and managing all other personal responsibilities.
When we are young and healthy, we don't plan for these contingencies. We don't want disability insurance. We want to spend our money, live a good life, and own nice things. But life is unpredictable. The people telling us to be debt free, not to buy on credit, and to save, save, save are boring.
But another side to that is we don't want to quit work. If we're not old enough to retire, we want to feel useful as long as possible. An illness cuts into our lives, we don't want to feel useless, like we're just hanging around to die. It's inconvenient for employers, and business doesn't like it. But most people will develop some problem eventually, and their lives will be all messed up temporarily or permanently, and they can't quit working. We just need to be understanding and patient. We could be in their shoes and need that understanding ourselves.