In the not too distant past the majority of people suffering a heart attack died from the initial event. Similarly, certain cancers were a death sentence with few treatment options, and the side effects were debilitating.
What hasn't changed is the likelihood of suffering a critical illness - but now people are surviving more often where in the past they perished. Today the statistics for the three main critical illnesses are as follows:
- It is estimated there are over 70,000 heart attacks in Canada each year.
- There are between 40,000 and 50,000 strokes in Canada each year.
- An estimated 3,075 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every week.
Sources: Heart and Stroke Foundation 2006; National Cancer Institute of Canada: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2007. The statistics shown above have been developed by the identified source; they are provided for general information only.
For more details on what the future holds read this 2010 report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation entitled "A Perfect Storm of Heart Disease Looming on Our Horizon".
The last thirty years have seen medical advances reduce the rate of death for many illnesses. While more people are surviving, the financial consequences of lost time at work, seeking treatment in a jurisdiction other than their home province, and sacrifices made by their families while they are recovering, are often resulting in financial damage that lasts far beyond their recovery period.
A Critical Illness Insurance policy will pay you the face amount of the policy, tax free, if you are diagnosed with one of the 25 or more covered critical illnesses provided you survive 30 days after diagnosis. This money can be used for things like:
- Paying bills such as your mortgage, car payments etc.
- Home care cost for medical equipment or private nursing so you are not stuck in a hospital
- So you can seek treatment in a jurisdiction where there are no waiting lists for care
- Replacement of the income of a loved one who may have to take time off work to help you get better
Can you think of any other things you could use the money for? The list is potentially very long. One question you may have is how much coverage do I need? This Critical illness information page from Canada Life can help you better understand how Critical Illness Insurance could help you.
There are a lot of options to design a policy that will fit your needs and budget. Some plans only cover the "big three" of cancer, heart attack and stroke, others cover over 22 addtional conditions. Most plans offer the option of receiving 100% of your premiums back in the future if you have not used the policy. Please contact Rob Penson for more information.
Child Critical Illness Insurance
Today a lot of children are not as active as they were "back in the day". There are many other options to fill their free time such as X Box and Playstation. As this group moves into adulthood their propensity to be overweight, have high blood pressure and diabetes might make a plan like this unavailable to them(refer to "A Perfect Storm of Heart Disease Looming on Our Horizon").
You can guarantee their ability to acquire this coverage by purchasing a critical illness policy on them when they are a young child and are healthy. This policy would provide money to you if your child had a life threatening illness during childhood which could replace lost wages or pay for additional medical expenses.
When your child becomes an adult they can convert the policy to an adult critical illness policy guaranteed without providing any medical evidence of insurability. It is possible that in the future the insurance companies will not offer this type of coverage due to the risk factors in society; if your child already has the coverage their future insurability and access to adult critical illness coverage will be guaranteed.
Critical Illness Insurance and Best DoctorsTM
Included with most critical illness insurance policies is a medical referral service offered by Best DoctorsTM. These services include:
- InterConsultationTM - a review of medical records, personalized evaluation, treatment recommendations.
- FindBestDocTM - provides names and professional profiles of up to 3 doctors indentified by other doctors as being "best" for treating your condition.
- FindBestCare® - assistance with medical appointments and monitoring of treatment process to ensure your medical priorities are met.