When a patient is receiving treatment for a significant medical emergency, their primary focus is to heal, return to their family, and rediscover their joy as soon as possible. Sadly, severe conditions like a heart attack or cancer are costly to treat. As a result, most patients who recover may have to deal with untold mental and financial distress. Since standard health insurance plans don’t fully cover costs associated with these conditions and effective medical procedures, you should consider getting critical illness insurance.
RISK OF DEVELOPING A CRITICAL ILLNESS
Your chances of developing a critical health complication depend on factors like your lifestyle and age. Here are recent statistics indicating the annual prevalence rate of some life-threatening illnesses in the U.S:
Having a critical illness can lead to significant medical debts that might drive you to bankruptcy. Most of these diseases and major procedures, such as organ transplants, require extensive medical care and treatment. Unfortunately, a standard health insurance policy is usually insufficient for covering these costs.
HOW CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE CAN HELP
Critical illness insurance policies come with coverage limits of up to $100,000. They usually can cover multiple expenses, including:
- Medical services you couldn’t otherwise access
- Treatments not covered by your standard health insurance plan
- Everyday living expenses
- Transportation costs, such as travel to and from the hospital
- Costs of modifying your car to accommodate mobility aids like wheelchairs
- Installing a lift in your home if you’re too sick to use stairways
HOW TO BUY A CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE POLICY
There are several ways to get a critical illness insurance policy. These include:
- Buy it as a standalone policy
- Purchase it through your employer (if available as a voluntary perk)
- Add it to your standard life insurance policy as a rider (it may be cheaper this way, without losing any of the coverage benefits)
Whichever you choose to buy this policy, take your time and thoroughly study it before signing up. Ensure it provides the help you’re looking for, as it’ll serve as your safety net when alternative insurance plans prove to be inadequate. Important considerations include:
- Potential lump-sum payout once you’re diagnosed with a covered critical illness
- Indemnity coverage for medical costs incurred in the hospital or ICU and for interventions like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery
- Transport coverage for the cost of travel to and from the hospital for treatment
- Medical examination coverage, including tests like mammograms and colon screenings
- Premium-return component, which is the cash value component of your critical illness coverage
You may want to include preventive care coverage for routine diagnostic tests. These exams make it possible to detect and treat certain diseases before they become untreatable or life-threatening.
Keep in mind that critical illness policies may have some exclusions. Possible exceptions include:
- Chronic conditions are often excluded
- You may not be protected if a previously covered disease comes back, such as if you have a second stroke or heart attack
- Some coverages don’t last beyond a specific age
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