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Critical Illness Insurance

Major medical insurance doesn’t cover everything.  Plan ahead to protect your health and finances.
At any time and without warning, a heart attack, stroke, or cancer diagnosis can financially devastate a family. The chances of experiencing a major medical crisis increases with age.  Unfortunately, many of the costs that stem from a critical illness may not be covered by health insurance.  What can you do?   Plan ahead.

Why You Need Critical Illness Insurance

Health insurance doesn’t cover everything.  You may have to pay copays, deductibles, prescription drugs, travel expenses, and costs for alternative treatments out-of-pocket.  Most people do not have sufficient savings to cover normal living expenses and pay for higher-quality care. To make matters worse, the treatment and recovery time for a major illness often force people to experience absences from work or leave their jobs, altogether, resulting in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or the loss of a business. 

Facts & Figures

  • 87% of all cancers in the United States are diagnosed in people 50 years of age or older.¹
  • More than 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime along with almost 1 in 2 men.¹
  • Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65.²
  • Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.²
  • Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.²
  •  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.²

“Sixty-two percent of the bankruptcies [in 2007] were medically related because the individuals either had more than $5,000 (or 10 percent of their pretax income) in medical bills, mortgaged their home to pay for medical bills, or lost significant income due to an illness. On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance and $17,749 who had insurance at some point.  Overall, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy had health insurance.”  – Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School, in Cambridge, Mass.

How Critical Illness Insurance Works

Critical Illness insurance can help protect you from financial ruin, improve your access to high-quality healthcare, and ease the stress of dealing with financial obligations, so you and your family can focus on what’s important – your health and recovery.

Critical illness insurance pays you a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical illness.  You may use this money for anything you want.  Most people use the cash to cover living expenses and out-of-pocket medical costs.  Others may use their payout to make home modifications, pay down debt, or enjoy a well-deserved vacation.  Unlike health insurance, the cash is paid directly to you; and, unlike disability insurance, your money is paid to you all at once.

It is important to note that Critical illness insurance does not replace major medical insurance.  However, it can provide needed cash if you do not have health insurance or if your primary health coverage requires you to pay a high deductible.  Under some critical illness plans, spouses or dependent family members may be covered under one policy.

You decide how much you receive.  Just like life insurance, you choose the amount of the payout at the time when you enroll in a critical illness plan.  You may select an amount as low as $5000.00 or as high as $100,000.00.  Under most plans a heart attack, stroke, or cancer diagnosis is considered a critical illness.  Some plans may cover only one of these illnesses.  Other plan options may include coverage for all three. Certain plans include provide a full or partial payout for additional illnesses such as:
  • Loss of hearing, speech, or vision
  • Major organ transplant
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Renal Failure
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

When You Should get Critical Illness Insurance

Ideally, before you are critically ill.  Most insurers will not cover an illness if it is diagnosed within 30 days of enrolling in a plan.  In addition, while some insurance companies will issue coverage to people in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even in their 90’s, most insurers will offer higher premiums and limit coverage or benefits for those who are older.  Therefore, initiating coverage sooner is better.

When determining whether critical illness insurance is right for you, each person should take into consideration their own risk factors such as age, health, lifestyle, and family history of illness.

Ready to discover the right plan for you?

¹Source:  American Cancer Society, “Cancer Facts & Figures 2017”

²Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

³Source: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/05/bankruptcy.medical.bills/

The information on this page in intended for general knowledge purposes.  It does not provide a complete description of all the costs, benefits, and limitations for all critical illness insurance plans available.  Not all applicants may qualify for coverage.  Please consult your carrier policy for all terms and conditions.

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