With the insurance landscape constantly changing, traditional health insurance may not be enough to cover the needs of critical illness patients
From heart attacks and strokes to M.S. and ALS, critical illnesses affect tens of millions of Americans each year; and when they don’t kill, they can seriously affect an individual’s quality of life. Despite the devastating impacts of these conditions, most insurance policies simply aren’t equipped to handle the incredible expenses of treating a critical illness. It’s estimated that the average critical illness sufferer pays more than $7,500 out-of-pocket for treatment– and that’s for patients with health insurance!
With costs of critical illness care so steep, it’s no surprise that approximately 60% of American bankruptcies are the direct result of medical costs. However, being diagnosed with a critical illness doesn’t always mean that you must kiss your savings goodbye. With traditional health insurance co-pays for all types of medical care (including critical illness care) increasing by the year, many employers are now offering optional “critical illness” policies, which pay out a pre-specified lump sum if a patient is diagnosed with one or more of a listed group of critical medical disorders. This can help a critical illness patient pay medical bills, as well as cover associated costs of treatment, such as lost income or additional childcare expenses.
Statistics: Most Americans would be ‘wiped clean’ by a critical illness
The high cost of medical insurance isn’t the only financial problem plaguing millions of hardworking Americans; a severe lack of savings is putting countless families just one emergency away from bankruptcy. A 2016 survey suggests that nearly 70% of Americans may have as little as $1,000 in savings– meaning that the average $7,500 spent on critical illness care could completely decimate their savings; or worse, put them deep into medical debt.
In contrast, if the individual were to have purchased and paid for a supplemental critical illness insurance policy, they would receive an average of between $10,000 and $15,000 if diagnosed with conditions commonly occurring, including cancer, heart attack, stroke, organ failures/transplants, ALS. The exact monthly premium and the exact coverage depend upon the policy, but many average policies range between as little as $15-25/month– a huge bargain considering the impact a critical illness could otherwise have on an ordinary family forced to struggle through a challenging medical process.
Critical insurance policies can fill in vital coverage gaps, even for patients who already have disability insurance
When most think about getting insurance to help reduce the financial impact of a serious illness, they usually think of disability insurance– and for a good reason. Disability insurance is a great way to recoup a significant portion of your annual income for a period if you If you experience a critical illness and are unable to work for a significant period of time. However, disability insurance only covers a portion lost income, (usually kicking in about 90 days after the period of disability begins) meaning that patients still need to find the money to pay for the out-of-pocket costs of their medical treatment. Therefore, even people with full disability policies can seriously benefit from a supplemental critical illness insurance policy.
Despite the many benefits of critical illness coverage, many Americans simply don’t know much, if anything, about it. One 2013 study of middle-income Americans determined that three-quarters of adults surveyed did not even know that critical illness insurance existed, while only one-in-twenty individuals surveyed actually had a critical illness policy. Unfortunately, this lack of understanding is preventing many of the Americans who need this insurance most from getting it– and until costs come down (or American savings accounts increase) critical illness insurance may be able to act as a financial lifeboat for some of the millions of Americans who face serious diseases each year.
To learn more about how critical illness coverage may be able to protect you and your family from financial disaster in the case of a medical emergency, contact Avante Insurance today for a free consultation.