With 800,000 strokes occurring in the United States each year according to the CDC, it’s quite necessary to dedicate an entire month to stroke awareness and education. In fact, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds in the U.S., earning it the fifth spot in leading causes of death.
But while it is estimated that more than 133,000 people die each year in the U.S. due to a stroke, many more are surviving thanks to advances in medicine, response time and access to care. According to the National Institute of Health, over 6 million people in the United States have survived a stroke and live with its impact every day.
As the number of stroke survivors increases, so does the importance of investing in Critical Illness Insurance. Let’s take a closer look at vital information you should be aware of when it comes to Critical Illness Insurance:
The Role of Critical Illness Insurance. Also known as critical illness coverage, this type of insurance produces a lump-sum payout to the policyholder if he is diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses stated on a predetermined list from the insurance company. Payout may also be made if the policyholder undergoes a specific type of surgical procedure, such as a bypass operation.
The History Behind Critical Illness Insurance. Dr. Marius Barnard, brother of renowned South African heart surgeon Dr. Christian Barnard, saw a need for his patients who were experiencing severe financial hardship after suffering a stroke, heart attack, diagnosis of cancer, etc. He recognized an increase in survival rate and felt it was important to help patients thrive after a critical illness event. He promoted his idea of critical illness insurance and the first insurance product of its kind was launched in 1983.
A Financial Resource Without Boundaries. With Critical Illness Insurance, you and your family are provided funds when you need it most – at the time of diagnosis. Unlike disability insurance policies, you won’t be held under a waiting period and different than health insurance policies, the payout is made directly to you. A Critical Illness policy allows the policyholder to use the payout exactly as they want. For most people, this involves using the money to pay for medical expenses not covered by their health plan, using the funds for in-home care, paying off outstanding debts and maintaining a current level of lifestyle if an extended period of not working is necessary.
Benefits Documented Worldwide. The popularity of Critical Illness Insurance originally took off in Canada, Japan and Great Britain. In these countries, which have national health insurance programs, many policyholders of this insurance product used the money to come to the United States and receive immediate health care rather than wait up to six months in their home country. Critical Illness Insurance has now taken off in the United States in part due to higher deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket costs associated with health insurance.
Critical Illness Insurance Eligibility. This type of insurance policy can be found in both individual and group coverage options. Eligibility requirements are based on your age, gender, past medical history, smoking habits and current health.
Many people inquire about and invest in Critical Illness Insurance after seeing a loved one experience financial hardship after a critical illness event. Having a true-life example always helps put potential scenarios into perspective. For instance, when we first began offering Critical Illness Insurance, a Dallas physician bought a Critical Illness Insurance policy with a face amount of $750,000. Two weeks later, this same physician was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal cancer. The policy amount was paid in full and he underwent extensive cancer treatment.
Today he is still alive, cancer-free and states he used the payout to fund gaps that weren’t covered by his medical insurance. He also used the remaining funds to move to Florida and purchase a retirement home. This physician’s outcome could have been vastly different if a Critical Illness Insurance policy wasn’t in the equation when his diagnosis was made.
Advances in medicine and technology continue to increase the number of stroke survivors in the U.S.. Consider investing in coverage that can offset financial burden and enable you to maintain your lifestyle. To discuss your options for Critical Illness Insurance, contact us today.