Before I jump into explaining what critical illness insurance is, and why I personally believe it’s a good investment, let me first confess that before I began working for a health insurance brokerage, I had NO idea what critical illness insurance was.
When I first started my job with the health insurance brokerage, I would hear agents talking to customers about plans that offered tens of thousands of dollars in coverage, should they wind up with something like a heart attack or a stroke. I was baffled and many-a-time wondered, “Does my health insurance do that, too?”
The answer was no, because the insurance they were explaining was a critical illness plan, which is frequently bought along with a major medical or short-term health plan. All I had was one plan, a major medical plan. So no, I did not have it, but I’ll tell you why I think it’s a great thing to have in a minute.
How Does This Plan Work?
First, what does critical illness insurance do? In the event of a major illness, like a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, the plan will pay out a lump sum of cash for that covered illness. The money could go to a multitude of uses. It could of course be used to cover medical expenses, like co-payments, deductibles (which have been on the rise recently), out-of-network providers, and experimental treatments that aren’t always covered by insurance. Under the same umbrella, it could go toward any travel expenses associated with your condition. If you decide to seek care out of town, you could use the money for transportation or hotel accommodations for you and anyone traveling with you.
It could also be used to help you pay for your normal day-to-day expenses. If you get cancer, there’s a good chance you won’t be working, or won’t be working as much. That money can help pay what you would normally pay with your income- rent, utilities, car payment, credit card payments, etc. It seems that when we think about major illnesses, we think about how we would pay our medical bills and forget about all of the other bills that will still come due, regardless of our health.
Everyone’s First Question: The Cost
At this point, I know you’re probably thinking about how expensive it is just for a major medical health plan, let alone adding this on. Surprisingly, for the amount of coverage you get, it’s not a very high price. It’s nothing compared to paying your traditional premium for a major medical plan and prices will obviously vary depending on the coverage amount that you opt for.
Everyone’s Last Thought: The Reality
Thinking about a major illness plaguing your life isn’t something many of us spend time thinking about. It’s something we like to believe won’t happen to us, but the unfortunate reality is that no one who gets cancer or has a heart attack ever expects it. It’s a terrible situation all around, but the one of the best measures you can take is to be prepared should it happen. The last thing you want to be worrying about when you have a heart attack or cancer is your financial situation. Critical illness coverage will ensure that you can focus on what’s most important- your recovery!
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