Our lives are constantly changing. Unfortunately, not all of those changes are positive. In one year, more than 795,000 people will have a stroke, 735,000 will have a heart attack, and 1.7 million will be diagnosed with cancer.1 When facing these kinds of medical challenges, the last thing you want to think about is the financial effect of your illness. Thankfully, that is where critical illness insurance can help.
What Is Critical Illness Insurance?
Critical illness insurance is a type of supplemental insurance plan. Like other supplemental plans, critical illness insurance can help fill the gaps in your health insurance coverage in the event of an unexpected medical event.
If you experience a qualifying illness, critical illness insurance policies pay out lump-sum cash benefits directly to you. Qualifying events often include:*
• Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
• Benign Brain Tumor
• Cancer In Situ
• Coronary Bypass
• End-Stage Renal Disease (ERSD)
• Heart Attack
• Illness-Induced Coma
• Life-Threatening Cancer
• Major Organ Transplant
Because you get the benefits paid directly to you, you can use your benefit amount in whatever way you need (out-of-pocket medical costs, mortgage payments, or even transportation expenses). But don’t wait for an illness to strike before getting critical illness insurance. You cannot purchase this type of plan after an illness has been diagnosed. In order to receive the cash benefit of a policy, you must be first diagnosed after the waiting period of your policy.
How Much Does It Cost?
Like most supplemental plans, your premium will depend on a few factors. The first factor is the benefit amount you choose. The American Association for Critical Illness Insurance says that benefit amounts can range from $10,000 to $1 million. Your age and gender will also influence your monthly premium. Many insurance companies will offer a cash benefit amount of up to $50,000 without requiring you to take a medical exam.
What Critical Illness Insurance Is NOT
A critical illness insurance plan can cover a myriad of medical events. However, that doesn’t mean it offers “all-in-one” coverage. Before we move on, let’s talk about what a critical illness plan is not.
A Qualified Health Insurance Plan—critical illness insurance plans are not designed to replace your qualified health insurance plan. They will not provide the overall coverage a health plan will, and they will not protect you from health insurance tax penalties. Instead, critical illness insurance is designed to supplement your existing health coverage.
A Cancer Insurance Only Plan—certain types of cancers are often included in critical illness plans. However, that is not all they cover. Strokes, heart attacks, and other illnesses can also be covered by critical illness insurance plans since they are more comprehensive.
A Life Insurance Plan—although life insurance is also a type of supplemental coverage, critical illness insurance is not a type of life insurance.
Where Can You Find Critical Illness Insurance?
HealthMarkets can help you find a critical illness insurance plan that suits you. A licensed agent can help you identify a benefit amount for your financial needs and provide an accurate quote for that benefit amount. Or, if you would like to learn more about critical illness insurance plans first, visit our website here.